External ventricular drains (EVDs) are commonly used in the neurosurgical population. However, very few pediatric neurosurgery studies are available regarding EVD-associated infection rates with antibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters. The authors previously published a large pediatric cohort study analyzing nonantibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters and risk factors associated with infections. In this study, they aimed to analyze the EVD-associated infection rate after implementation of antibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters.
A retrospective observational cohort of pediatric patients (younger than 18 years of age) who underwent a burr hole for antibiotic-impregnated EVD placement and who were admitted to a quaternary care ICU between January 2011 and January 2019 were reviewed. The ventriculostomy-associated infection rate in patients with antibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters was compared to the authors’ historical control of patients with nonantibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters.
Two hundred twenty-nine patients with antibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters were identified. Neurological diagnostic categories included externalization of an existing shunt (externalized shunt) in 34 patients (14.9%); brain tumor (tumor) in 77 patients (33.6%); intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in 27 patients (11.8%); traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 6 patients (2.6%); and 85 patients (37.1%) were captured in an “other” category. Two of 229 patients (0.9% of all patients) had CSF infections associated with EVD management, totaling an infection rate of 0.99 per 1000 catheter days. This is a significantly lower infection rate than was reported in the authors’ previously published analysis of the use of nonantibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters (0.9% vs 6%, p = 0.00128).
In their large pediatric cohort, the authors demonstrated a significant decline in ventriculostomy-associated CSF infection rate after implementation of antibiotic-impregnated EVD catheters at their institution.