The purpose of this paper is to alert physicians that hydrocephalic children with tube drainage of cerebrospinal fluid into the right atrium may insidiously develop cor pulmonale. This is an important complication to recognize early, since removal of the tube and replacement at another site, if necessary, may halt the process before right heart failure occurs.
Material and Method
A review of the autopsy files at Los Angeles Childrens Hospital over the last five years was undertaken seeking patients who had died at any time after a ventriculoauriculostomy.A concurrent cardiovascular evaluation of living children who had undergone this procedure was initiated. These patients have been seen as outpatients over the last six months. In addition to history and physical examination, we obtained an electrocardiogram, chest x-ray, blood culture, and phonocardiogram.The Heyer valve had been utilized in each patient. This has a simple unidirectional slit valve at the intracardiac