Risk Factors of External Ventricular Drain Infection: Proposing a Model for Future Studies

Front Neurol. 2019 Mar 15;10:226. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00226. eCollection 2019.


Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) has a major role in the management and monitoring of intracranial pressure (ICP) and its major complication is EVD infection. The risk factors for EVD infection are still a major topic of controversy, hence the need for further research. Objective: The objective of this review was to identify risk factors that affect the incidence of EVD infection and create a model, which can be used in future studies in order to contribute to elaborations on guideline for EVD. Methods: A PubMed and Google Scholar literature search was performed and data were extracted from studies published from 1966 through 2017. The search of the databases generated 604 articles and 28 articles of these were found to be relevant. A manual search of the 28 relevant papers generated 4 new articles. Of the 32 relevant articles, 20 articles that performed a multivariate analysis of the suspected risk factors of EVD infection and had a positive culture as a mandatory component in diagnosis were selected for data collection and analysis. Results: Because reviewed papers investigated only a few influencing factors, and could not determine convincingly the real risk factors of EVD infection and their real strengths. A total of 15 supposed influencing factors which includes: age, age & sex interactions, coinfection, catheter insertion outside the hospital, catheter type, CSF leakage, CSF sampling frequency, diagnosis, duration of catheterization, ICP > 20 mmHg, irrigation, multiple catheter, neurosurgical operation, reduced CSF glucose at catheter insertion and sex were identified. Conclusion: This review summarizes a set of variables which have to be covered by future clinical epidemiological investigations in order to describe the etiological background of EVD infection.

Keywords: (EVD) external ventricular drain; EVD infection; risk factors; ventricular catheter (VC); ventricular catheter infection.

Publication types

  • Review