Ventriculitis complicating use of intraventricular catheters in adult neurosurgical patients

Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Dec 15;33(12):2028-33. doi: 10.1086/324492. Epub 2001 Nov 9.


Ventriculitis is a serious complication of intraventricular catheter (IVC) use, with rates of IVC-related infections ranging from 0% to 45% and gram-positive organisms predominating. We prospectively analyzed ventriculostomy-related infections occurring among 157 adult neurosurgical patients (mean age, 54.9 years; 90 [57%] were women) from 1995 through 1998, to determine the incidence of, risk factors for, and organisms that cause ventriculitis. A total of 196 IVC events resulted in 11 infections (5.6%; 9 were caused by gram-negative organisms and 2 by coagulase-negative staphylococci). Independent risk factors for IVC-related infection include length of IVC placement (8.5 days [infected] vs. 5.1 days [uninfected]; P=.007) and cerebrospinal fluid leakage about the IVC (P=.003). The length of hospital stay (30.8 days vs. 22.6 days; P=.03) and mean total hospital charges ($85,674.27 vs. $55,339.21; P=.009) were greater for infected patients than for uninfected patients. In addition, a microbiologic shift from gram-positive organisms toward gram-negative organisms was noted. This study suggests that IVC-related infections remain serious infections that increase the length of hospitalization.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / economics
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / economics
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / economics
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / microbiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Ventriculostomy