Use of antibiotics in penetrating craniocerebral injuries. "Infection in Neurosurgery" Working Party of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Lancet. 2000 May 20;355(9217):1813-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(00)02275-3.


The Working Party was instituted to investigate the rationale of prophylactic and therapeutic antibiotic use in penetrating craniocerebral injuries (PCCI), and to make recommendations for current practice. A systematic review of papers on civilian and military PCCI over the past 25 and 50 years, respectively, was done via electronic databases and secondary sources, and data were evaluated. Guidelines on the removal of indriven bone or metal fragments only if further neural damage can be avoided were supported. However, no publications were identified where the data on infection or its treatment and prevention were complete or satisfactorily derived, and no controlled trials have been published. All studies were retrospective or anecdotal. Working Party recommendations are based on the data available and the professional experience and knowledge of the members. Broad-spectrum antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended for both military and civilian PCCI, Including those due to sports or recreational injuries.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Head Injuries, Penetrating / complications*
  • Head Injuries, Penetrating / therapy
  • Humans
  • Wounds, Gunshot / complications
  • Wounds, Gunshot / therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents