Ventricular-Pleural Shunt (VPL Shunt)

What is a VPL Shunt and what does it do?

Person with VPL Shunt in place, AP view Person with VPL Shunt in place, lateral view

This is a device which drains the extra fluid in the brain into the pleural cavity. This cavity is a space between the chest wall and the lungs. It is lined by a membrane along the chest wall (parietal pleura membrane) and the lung surface (visceral pleura membrane) with pleural fluid in between. The cerebral spinal fluid is added to this fluid and is absorbed.

Basic Parts of a Shunt

Illustration Showing Different Parts of a Shunt

There are many different kinds of shunts. All have three basic parts: a Ventricular Catheter, a Shunt Valve and a Distal Catheter. See What is a Shunt? to understand how the different parts of a shunt function.