Cerebrospinal fluid shunt infections in children

TURGUT M. M. , ALABAZ D. , ERBEY F., KOCABAS E. , Erman T. , ALHAN E., ...More

PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY, vol.41, no.3, pp.131-136, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000085869
  • Page Numbers: pp.131-136


Infections of cerebrospinal fluid shunts continue to be a substantial source of mortality and morbidity in children with hydrocephalus. Although several therapeutic modalities are currently used for the treatment of shunt infections, there are no clear guidelines for treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine the common pathogens of cerebrospinal fluid shunt infections and evaluate the success of our management. Thirty-five children treated for ventriculoperitoneal shunt infections over the past 9 years were reviewed. The management protocol consisted of the removal of the infected shunt, the application of ventricular taps or reservoir placement, intraventricular antibiotic treatment, and the placement of a new shunt when cerebrospinal fluid sterility was achieved. Four patients were treated with antibiotics alone. Most episodes occurred within 4 months of shunt placement. The most common causative microorganism identified was Staphylococcus epidermidis, followed by S. aureus, and S. warneri. Three patients died from complications of shunt infections, 2 patients had a recurrent shunt infection, while the remaining 29 patients remained free from shunt-related complications. In agreement with the evidence published in the literature, our findings suggest that the above management protocol is effective for the treatment of cerebrospinal fluid shunt infections. Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.