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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 708531, 6 pages
Research Article

External Ventricular Drain Infections: Risk Factors and Outcome

1Center for Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany
2Center for Sepsis Control & Care (CSCC), Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany
3Department of Internal Medicine IV, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany
4Institute of Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
5Department of Neurosurgery, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany

Received 28 May 2014; Revised 21 October 2014; Accepted 1 November 2014; Published 17 November 2014

Academic Editor: Albert Eid

Copyright © 2014 S. Hagel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


External ventricular drainage (EVD) is frequently used in neurosurgery to drain cerebrospinal fluid in patients with raised intracranial pressure. We performed a retrospective single center study in order to evaluate the incidence of EVD-related infections and to identify underlying risk factors. 246 EVDs were placed in 218 patients over a 30-month period. EVD was continued in median for 7 days (range 1–44). The cumulative incidence of EVD-related infections was 8.3% (95% CI, 5.3–12.7) with a device-associated infection rate of 10.4 per 1000 drainage days (95% CI, 6.2–16.5). The pathogens most commonly identified were coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (62%) followed by Enterococcus spp. (19%). Patients with an EVD-related infection had a significantly longer ICU (11 versus 21 days, ) and hospital stay (20 versus 28.5 days, ) than patients without. Median total duration of external drainage was twice as long in patients with EVD-related infection (6 versus 12 days, ). However, there was no significant difference in the duration between first EVD placement and the occurrence of EVD-related infection and EVD removal in patients without EVD-related infection (6 versus 7 days, ), respectively. Interestingly no risk factor for EVD-related infection could be identified in our cohort of patients.