No additional protection against ventriculitis with prolonged systemic antibiotic prophylaxis for patients treated with antibiotic-coated external ventricular drains

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OBJECT External ventricular drains (EVDs) are commonly used for CSF diversion but pose a risk of ventriculitis, with rates varying in frequency from 2% to 45%. Results of studies examining the utility of prolonged systemic antibiotic therapy for the prevention of EVD-related infection have been contradictory, and no study to date has examined whether this approach confers additional benefit in preventing ventriculitis when used in conjunction with antibiotic-coated EVDs (ac-EVDs). METHODS A prospective performance analysis was conducted over 4 years to examine the impact of discontinuing systemic antibiotic prophylaxis after insertion of an ac-EVD on rates of catheter-related ventriculitis. Ventriculitis and other nosocomial infections were ascertained by a qualified infection disease nurse using definitions based on published standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comparing the period when patients received systemic antibiotic therapy for the duration of EVD treatment (Period 1) compared with only for the peri-insertion period (Period 2). Costs were analyzed and compared across the 2 time periods. RESULTS Over the 4-year study period, 866 patients were treated with ac-EVDs for a total of 7016 catheter days. There were 8 cases of ventriculitis, for an overall incidence of 0.92%. Rates of ventriculitis did not differ significantly between Period 1 and Period 2 (1.1% vs 0.4%, p = 0.22). The rate of nosocomial infections, however, was significantly higher in Period 1 (2.0% vs 0.0% in Period 2, p = 0.026). Cost savings of $162,516 were realized in Period 2 due to decreased drug costs and savings associated with the reduction in nosocomial infections. CONCLUSIONS Prolonged systemic antibiotic therapy following placement of ac-EVDs does not seem to reduce the incidence of catheter-related ventriculitis and was associated with a higher rate of nosocomial infections and increased cost.

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Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Anti-Bacterial Agents (administration & dosage); Antibiotic Prophylaxis (methods); Cerebral Ventriculitis (prevention & control); Cross Infection; Drainage (instrumentation); Drug Carriers; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Prospective Studies; Time Factors; Young Adult

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Journal of neurosurgery







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