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09.11.2017 | Original Article - Brain Injury | Ausgabe 3/2018

Acta Neurochirurgica 3/2018

Current treatment concepts for iatrogenic ventriculitis: a nationwide survey in Germany

Acta Neurochirurgica > Ausgabe 3/2018
Niklas von Spreckelsen, Norma Jung, Sergej Telentschak, Jürgen Hampl, Roland Goldbrunner, Stefan Grau
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00701-017-3393-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Iatrogenic ventriculitis is a common complication of the external ventricular drainage. While the procedure and indications for external ventricular drains (EVD) are highly standardized, the treatment of ventriculitis is not clearly defined.


To depict the treatment of iatrogenic ventriculitis currently performed in German hospitals.


A standardized questionnaire consisting of 18 multiple choice questions, each with the ability to provide additional individual answers, covering the diagnosis and treatment of iatrogenic ventriculitis as well as general handling of EVDs, was sent to 121 neurosurgical hospitals registered in the German Society for Neurosurgery (DGNC).


Thirty-three out of 121 hospitals returned the questionnaire. While diagnostics are performed similarly in most hospitals, the treatment varies remarkably. Ten of the 33 (30%) units never applied antibiotics intrathecally and 12 (36%) only in selected (1–20%) cases, while 7 (21%) do this routinely, and the remaining 4 centers vary their treatment. While the targeted systemic therapy after pathogen identification and resistance testing is similar, the choice of empiric antibiotics varies as does the type of drug used for intrathecal therapy. Among the applied systemic antibiotics, vancomycin [n = 23 (70%)] and meropenem [n = 22 (67%)] were the most common, but many others, including ceftriaxone, metronidazol, linezolid, piperacillin/tazobactam, fosfomycin and ceftazidim, are used. There is no standard practice regarding EVD handling. Twelve (36%) hospitals do not replace the EVD after a new diagnosis of ventriculitis, 13 (39%) do so once after the diagnosis, and 8 (24%) regularly switch EVDs after a defined time span (7–20 days), even without signs of infection.


Treatment concepts for iatrogenic ventriculitis are very heterogeneous. Thus, there is an urgent need for generating outcome data and defining a standard treatment algorithm with the recently published practice guideline being an important first step.

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