The authors present two cases of pneumocephalus occurring in patients with permanent shunts and review nine previously reported cases. Mental status changes and headache are the most common presenting symptoms. Six of the 11 cases of pneumocephalus occurred in patients with shunt placement for hydrocephalus secondary to acqueductal stenosis. In these patients, thinned cerebrospinal fluid barriers secondary to long-standing increased intracranial pressure may predispose them to pneumocephalus. Temporary extraventricular drainage is an effective method of treatment in this group of patients. Two other etiologies are identified with significance to treatment, and the role of craniotomy is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology