BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.2012.006164
  • Learning from errors

The use of the ASET in the diagnosis of ventriculoatrial shunt infection

  1. Roger Bayston3
  1. 1Neurosurgery Department, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull, UK
  2. 2Neurosurgery Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3BRIG, Division of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roger Bayston, roger.bayston{at}


A 38-year-old man with a ventriculoatrial shunt presented with non-specific symptoms (headache, back pain, night sweats) and inconclusive laboratory results. He showed an extremely high titre of antibody to Staphylococcus epidermidis which proved diagnostic of shunt infection. This was confirmed on shunt removal and he was successfully treated.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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