Insertion of ventriculoatrial (VA) shunts is an effective method of draining cerebrospinal fluid from the cerebral ventricle to the right atrium and significantly improves the survival of patients with hydrocephalus. Some patients who received a VA shunt subsequently developed complications, including thrombus formation around the intracardiac end of the catheter and thromboembolism. The relative rarity of complications and the long latency between shunt insertion and the development of symptoms in VA shunt recipients may result in misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. The case presented suggests that such patients may require routine echocardiography at regular intervals. Otherwise, the indwelling foreign body may become the source of a life-threatening thrombotic mass, if not recognised and treated appropriately.
ventriculoatrial shunt, complications, diagnosis.