Skip to main content

Volume 12 Supplement 1

Abstracts from Hydrocephalus 2015

  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Shunt assistant device deception due to pseudovertical posturing


The ever present need to balance over drainage with under drainage in hydrocephalus has required innovations including adjustable valves with antigravity devices. These are activated in the vertical position to prevent siphoning. We describe a group of patients who presented with unexplained under drainage caused by activation of antigravity shunt components produced by peculiar head/body position.


Single centre case series of hydrocephalus patients, treated with ventriculo-peritoneal shunt insertion. These patients presented with clinical and radiological under drainge syndrome. Medical notes were reviewed for clinical picture and outcome. Radiological studies were reviewed assessing shunt placement and ventricular size.


Four patients presented with clinical and radiological under drainage syndrome. A consistent posturing of long term hyper-flexion of the neck whilst lying supine was observed. All patients had similar shunt construct (adjustable Miethke proGAV valve and shunt assistant antigravity component). In each of those patients a hypothesis was formulated that neck flexion was activating the shunt assistance antigravity component in supine position. All patients underwent shunt revision surgery removing the shunt assistant device from the cranium and adding an antigravity component to the shunt system at the chest. All patients had clinical and radiological improvement.


The combination of raised ICP when supine and a resistant shunt assistant could be blamed for worsening hydrocephalus. In bedridden hydrocephalus patients with a shunt assistant, consider the possibility of shunt deception due to abnormal neck positioning. In these patients, antigravity devices should be placed at the chest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Claudia Craven.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Craven, C., Patel, N.A., Asif, H. et al. Shunt assistant device deception due to pseudovertical posturing. Fluids Barriers CNS 12 (Suppl 1), P10 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: