Effect of amusement park rides on programmable shunt valve settings

Jennifer Strahle, Kelly Collins, William R. Stetler, Brandon W. Smith, Thomas Garton, Catherine Garton, Hugh J.L. Garton, Cormac O. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Magnetically programmable shunt valves are susceptible to environmental factors including magnetic fields and accelerative forces. It is unknown if rollercoasters with or without magnetic brakes or linear induction motors (LIMs) are capable of altering the setting of a programmable shunt valve. Methods: Two different valve types (type A, n = 10; type B, n = 9) were tested at varying resistance settings in 2 trials on 6 different amusement park rides including 2 rides with LIMs, 2 rides with magnetic brakes, and 2 rides without magnetic technology. Results: The performance level of valve type A and the setting of valve type B changed on rollercoasters with magnets (A = 2.5% [2/80]; B = 5.6% [4/72]) and without magnets (A = 7.5% [3/40]; B = 2.8% [1/36]). Neither valve setting changed when exposed to a Ferris wheel or during ambulation throughout the park. Conclusion: Magnetically programmable valves are susceptible to changes in pressure settings when exposed to amusement park rides with elevated vertical gravitational forces, irrespective of the presence of LIMs or magnetic brakes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-23
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Amusement park rides
  • Gravitational force
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Programmable shunt valve
  • Shunt malfunction


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