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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2015 Jun;31(6):435-40; quiz 441-3. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000462.

Radiographic evaluation of pediatric cerebrospinal fluid shunt malfunction in the emergency setting.

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*Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Boyle), Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and †Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Nigrovic), Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.


Children with ventricular cerebrospinal fluid shunts for treatment of hydrocephalus require frequent evaluation for potential shunt malfunction. Current practice relies heavily on neuroimaging, particularly cranial computed tomography, which repeatedly exposes children to ionizing radiation. Rapid cranial magnetic resonance imaging is a new radiation-sparing alternative to CT for evaluation of potential shunt malfunction. We review the diagnostic test performance, radiation exposure, advantages, and limitations of the major neuroimaging modalities available to providers caring for children with possible shunt malfunction in the emergent setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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