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Malays J Med Sci. 2010 Jul;17(3):48-54.

The risk factors of external ventricular drainage-related infection at hospital kuala lumpur: an observational study.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.



External ventricular drainage (EVD) has been widely used for the purpose of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL).


This prospective observational study was conducted in HKL from December 2006 to December 2008 among patients who were subjected for EVD, following strict inclusion and exclusion criteria.


The frequency of EVD-related infection was as high as 32.2% (95% CI 23.3% to 42.57%) among 87 patients studied. This study clearly demonstrates that tunnelling the catheter for more than 5 cm under the scalp, from the burr hole to the exit site of the skin, carried a significantly lower risk of infection compared with tunnelling the catheter for 5 cm or less (OR = 0.184, 95% CI 0.083 to 0.406, P < 0.001). The majority of cases (19 out of 28) with EVD-related infection occurred among patients catheterised for more than 10 days (OR = 0.334, 95% CI 0.171 to 0.652, P < 0.001).


The technique of subgaleal tunnelling of more than 5cm and the duration of the ventricular catheterisation of 10 days and less should be implemented as standardised protocol at health institutions to reduce the risk of EVD-related infections.


cerebrospinal fluid shunts; hydrocephalus; in-dwelling catheters; infection; neurosciences

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