In medicine, a shunt is a hole or 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.
Pulmonary shunts exist when there is normal perfusion to an alveolus, but ventilation fails to supply the perfused region.
A portosystemic shunt (PSS), also known as a liver shunt, is a bypass of the liver by the body's circulatory system. It can be either a congenital or acquired condition. Congenital PSS is an uncommon condition in dogs and cats, found mainly in small dog breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers and Yorkshire Terriers, and in cats such as Persians, Himalayans, and mix breeds. Acquired PSS is also uncommon and is found in older dogs with liver disease causing portal hypertension, especially cirrhosis.
A portacaval shunt/ portal caval shunt is a treatment for high blood pressure in the liver.