Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics for the Diagnosis of Bacterial Ventriculitis After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

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Background The diagnosis of nosocomial bacterial ventriculitis in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) can be challenging. Methods We performed a retrospective study on the diagnostic accuracy of clinical and laboratory characteristics for the diagnosis of bacterial ventriculitis in 209 consecutive patients with an aneurysmal SAH admitted in a tertiary referral center from 2008 to 2010. Diagnostic value of clinical characteristics and inflammatory indexes in CSF and blood were determined for three diagnostic categories: (1) no suspicion for bacterial ventriculitis; (2) clinical suspicion for bacterial ventriculitis, defined as initiation of empirical antibiotic treatment for ventriculitis, but negative CSF cultures; and (3) CSF culture-positive bacterial ventriculitis. Results Empirical antibiotics for suspected ventriculitis was initiated in 48 of 209 (23 %) patients. CSF cultures were positive in 11 (5 %) patients. Within the group of suspected ventriculitis, only longer duration of CSF drainage and lower CSF red blood cell counts predicted for culture positivity. None of the other clinical features or inflammatory indexes in CSF and blood were associated with culture-proven bacterial ventriculitis. Conclusion Nosocomial bacterial ventriculitis in patients with aneurysmal SAH is often suspected but confirmed by culture in a minority of cases. Improvement of diagnostics for nosocomial bacterial ventriculitis in patients with aneurysmal SAH is needed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-370
Number of pages9
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number3
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use
  • Central Nervous System Bacterial Infections/cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cerebral Ventriculitis/cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts/adverse effects
  • Cross Infection/cerebrospinal fluid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm/complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/surgery

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