1 Department of Neurological Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; and Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
✓ The placement of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is the most common form of treatment for hydrocephalus. Although allergic reactions to the silicone in shunt hardware are very rare, the authors describe a case of silicone allergy causing multiple ventricular shunt revisions. A 24-year-old man, who had undergone multiple VP shunt revisions, presented with shunt malfunction caused by allergic reaction of the tissues surrounding the shunt tubing. The patient's existing silicone-based shunt was replaced with a new polyurethane system, including the proximal and distal catheters as well as the valve mechanism. Contrary to recommendations in previous studies of silicone shunt allergies, long-term immunosuppression was not initiated. The patient was followed up for more than 8 years without recurrence of an allergic reaction to the shunt. This outcome indicates that replacing the original silicone-based shunt system with a polyurethane-based system alone is sufficient in the treatment of a silicone shunt allergy.
Address reprint requests to: Paul P. Wang, M.D., Department of Neurological Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Phipps 101, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21287. email: email@example.com.