The breakdown of the ventricular zone (VZ) with the presence of blood in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been shown to increase shunt catheter obstruction in the treatment of hydrocephalus, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are generally unknown. Using a custom-built incubation chamber, we immunofluorescently assayed cell attachment and morphology on shunt catheters with and without blood after 14 days. Samples exposed to blood showed significantly increased cell attachment (average total cell count 392.0±317.1 versus control of 94.7±44.5, P<0.0001). Analysis of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression showed similar trends (854.4±450.7 versus control of 174.3±116.5, P<0.0001). An in vitro model was developed to represent the exposure of astrocytes to blood following an increase in BBB permeability. Exposure of astrocytes to blood increases the number of cells and their spread on the shunt.