Shunt (medical)

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Auscultogram from normal and abnormal heart sounds

In medicine, a shunt is a hole or a small passage which moves, or allows movement of, fluid from one part of the body to another. The term may describe either congenital or acquired shunts; and acquired shunts (sometimes referred to as iatrogenic shunts) may be either biological or mechanical.

  • Cardiac shunts may be described as right-to-left, left-to-right or bidirectional, or as systemic-to-pulmonary or pulmonary-to-systemic.
Possible Complications
  1. Bleeding from varices
  2. DIC (Disseminated intravascular coagulation)
  3. Infection
  4. Superior vena caval thrombosis
  5. Pulmonary edema
  • A portacaval shunt/ portal caval shunt is a treatment for high blood pressure in the liver.
  • VASP (Vesicoamniotic shunting procedure): Fetal lower urinary tract outflow obstruction prevents the unborn baby from passing urine. This can result in a reduction in the volume of amniotic fluid, and problems with the development of the baby’s lungs and kidneys. A vesico–amniotic shunt is a tube that it is inserted into the unborn baby’s bladder to drain the excess fluid into the surrounding space.[3]

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