Bacterial meningitis caused by the use of ventricular or lumbar cerebrospinal fluid catheters

Rogier P. Schade, Janke Schinkel, Leo G. Visser, J. Marc C. van Dijk, Joan H. C. Voormolen, Ed J. Kuijper

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In the present study the authors compared the incidence and risk factors for external drainage-related bacterial meningitis (ED-BM) by using ventricular and lumbar catheters. A cohort of 230 consecutive patients with ED was evaluated. Cerebrospinal fluid samples were obtained daily for microbiological culture, and ED-BM was defined based on culture results in combination with clinical symptoms. The incidence of ED-BM was 7% in lumbar and 15% in ventricular drains. Independent risk factors included site leakage, drain blockage, and most importantly duration of ED. Despite a higher infection rate, ventricular catheters did not have a significant higher risk of infection after correcting for duration of drainage. Analysis of data in the present study showed that the incidence of ED-associated death is low (0.45%) in patients who do not receive continuous antibiotic prophylaxis during ED
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005


  • Central nervous system infection
  • Cerebrospinal fluid drainage
  • Lumbar subarachnoid catheter
  • Risk factor
  • Ventriculostomy catheter

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