Cerebral ventriculitis remains one of the most challenging neurosurgical conditions, with poor outcome and a long course of treatment and duration of hospital stay. Despite the current conventional management plans, i.e., using antibiotics in addition to CSF drainage, the outcome remains unsatisfactory in some cases, with no definitive therapeutic guidelines. This study aims to compare the outcome of ventricular irrigation/lavage (endoscopic irrigation or the double-drain technique) to conventional currently accepted therapy using just drainage and antibiotics.
The authors conducted a prospective controlled study in 33 patients with cerebral ventriculitis in which most of the cases were complications of CSF shunt operations. Patients were divided into two groups. Removal of the ventricular catheter whenever present was performed in both groups. The first group was managed by ventricular lavage/irrigation, while the other group was managed using conventional therapy by inserting an external ventricular drain. Both systemic and intraventricular antibiotics were used in both groups. The outcomes were compared regarding mortality rate, modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score, and duration of hospital stay.
The mean age of the study population was 5.98 ± 7.02 years. The mean follow-up duration was 7.6 ± 3.2 months in the conventional group and 5.7 ± 3.4 months in the lavage group. The mortality rate was 25% (4/16) in the lavage group and 52.9% (9/17) in the nonlavage group (p = 0.1). The mRS score was less than 3 (good outcome) in 68.8% (11/16) of the lavage group cases and in 23.5% (4/17) of the conventional group (p < 0.05). The mean hospital stay duration was 20.5 ± 14.2 days in the lavage group, whereas it was 39.7 ± 16.9 days in the conventional group (p < 0.05).
Ventricular lavage or irrigation together with antibiotics is useful in the management of cerebral ventriculitis and associated with a better outcome and shorter hospital stay duration compared to current conventional lines of treatment.