Etymology: L, auricula + ventriculus, little belly; Gk, stoma, opening
a surgical procedure that directs cerebrospinal fluid into the general circulation in the treatment of hydrocephalus, usually in the newborn. In this procedure a polyethylene tube is passed from the lateral ventricle through a burr hole in the parietal skull area under the scalp and into the jugular vein or abdomen for the discharge of cerebrospinal fluid. The tube, which has valves, is inserted to prevent reflux of the blood into the ventricles and to maintain the draining of excess cerebrospinal fluid when ventricular pressure increases. This procedure is performed to correct the communicating and the obstructive forms of hydrocephalus. Also called ventriculoatrial shunt, ventriculoatriostomy.