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Infection. 2011 Feb;39(1):47-51. doi: 10.1007/s15010-010-0073-5. Epub 2011 Jan 25.

Infection rate and risk factors associated with infections related to external ventricular drain.

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Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



To describe incidence rates and risk factors associated with external ventricular drain (EVD)-related infections at a tertiary Brazilian teaching hospital.


The patient cohort consisted of all patients at a major teaching hospital in Brazil with an EVD during the period 1 April 2007 to 30 June 2008 (15 months). Patients were followed up for 30 days after catheter removal. According to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention criteria for meningitis/ventriculitis, all of the central nervous system (CNS) infections that occurred during this period could be considered to be meningitis or ventriculitis related to EVD placement. Infection rates were calculated using different denominators, such as (1) per patient (incidence), (2) per procedure, and (3) per 1,000 catheter-days (drain-associated infection rate). Patient demographic data, medical history of underlying diseases, antibiotic prophylaxis usage, American Society of Anesthesiologists Score classification, duration of surgery and hospitalization, length of time the EVD was in place, and overall mortality were evaluated during the study period. A logistic regression model was developed to identify factors associated with infection.


A total of 119 patients, 130 EVD procedures, and 839 catheter-days were evaluated. The incidence of infection was 18.3%, the infection rate was 16.9% per procedure, and the drain-associated infection rate was 22.4 per 1,000 catheter-days; 77% of the infections were caused by Gram-negative micro-organisms. Only 75% of patients received antibiotic prophylaxis. The infection rate increased with length of the hospital stay. The length of time the catheter was in place was the only independent risk factor associated with infection (p = 0.0369).


The incidence of EVD-related infections is high in our hospital, Gram-negative micro-organisms were the most frequent causal agents identified and length of time that the catheter was in place contributed to the infection rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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