The Sensor Reservoir—does it change management?



The Miethke Sensor Reservoir sits within a ventriculoperitoneal shunt system to give a reading of the pressure within the shunt. This information can guide the management of hydrocephalus patients who present frequently with headaches.


We reviewed a cohort of 12 patients who underwent implantation of a Sensor Reservoir to assess how the management of their symptoms changed over a 4-year period.


When comparing the group before the Sensor Reservoir and after the Sensor Reservoir insertion, there was a 75% reduction in number of CT head scans (P<0.05), 100% reduction in episodes of ICP monitoring (P<0.05), 55% reduction in number of X-ray shunt series, and a 50% reduction in acute presentation to hospital with shunt-related symptoms. The number of clinic attendances increased by 44%. In addition, cost analysis showed a saving of £6952 per patients over the 2-year period following Sensor Reservoir insertion as a result of reduced admissions and investigations. Complications were seen in 3 patients—two patients developed shunt-related infections, and 1 patient underwent shunt revision due to a proximal shunt obstruction. Seventy-five percent of patients showed an improvement in their symptoms at the end of the 4-year period.


Implantation of a Sensor Reservoir in shunt patients with chronic headaches can reduce the number of investigations and hospital admissions and guide management resulting in a clinical improvement.

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Sensor Reservoir


Intracranial pressure


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The authors would like to acknowledge Mr Saurabh Sinha for his critical appraisal of this study, Ms Sally-Ann Collins who provided and cared for study patients, and Mr Mark Sutherland for statistical support.

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Correspondence to Anna Bjornson.

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Bjornson, A., Henderson, D., Lawrence, E. et al. The Sensor Reservoir—does it change management?. Acta Neurochir (2021).

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  • Hydrocephalus
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt
  • Sensor Reservoir