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Ahmad Sweid, Joshua H. Weinberg, Rawad Abbas, Kareem El Naamani, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Christine Wamsley, Erica J. Mann, Christopher Neely, Jeffery Head, David Nauheim, Julie Hauge, M. Reid Gooch, Nabeel Herial, Hekmat Zarzour, Tyler D. Alexander, Symeon Missios, David Hasan, Nohra Chalouhi, James Harrop, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour


External ventricular drain (EVD) placement is a common neurosurgical procedure. While this procedure is simple and effective, infection is a major limiting factor. Factors predictive of infection reported in the literature are not conclusive. The aim of this retrospective, single-center large series was to assess the rate and independent predictors of ventriculostomy-associated infection (VAI).


The authors performed a retrospective chart review of consecutive patients who underwent EVD placement between January 2012 and January 2018.


A total of 389 patients were included in the study. The infection rate was 3.1% (n = 12). Variables that were significantly associated with VAI were EVD replacement (OR 10, p = 0.001), bilateral EVDs (OR 9.2, p = 0.009), duration of EVD placement (OR 1.1, p = 0.011), increased CSF output/day (OR 1.0, p = 0.001), CSF leak (OR 12.9, p = 0.001), and increased length of hospital stay (OR 1.1, p = 0.002). Using multivariate logistic regression, independent predictors of VAI were female sex (OR 7.1, 95% CI 1.1–47.4; p = 0.043), EVD replacement (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.44–50.72; p = 0.027), increased CSF output/day (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.0–1.02; p = 0.023), and CSF leak (OR 15.1, 95% CI 2.6–87.1; p = 0.003).


The rate of VAI was 3.1%. Routine CSF collection (every other day or every 3 days) and CSF collection when needed were not associated with VAI. The authors recommend CSF collection when clinically needed rather than routinely.