Risk, Predictive, and Preventive Factors for Noninfectious Ventriculitis and External Ventricular Drain Infection

Tzu Fen Huang, Yu Kai Su, I. Chang Su, Yun Kai Yeh, Heng-Wei Liu, I. Hung Kan, Yu Chun Lu, Yu Pei Chang, Chien Min Lin, Yong Kwang Tu, Chien-Hua Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) is used for monitoring intracranial pressure or diverting cerebrospinal fluid. However, confirmation of an infection is not immediate and requires obtaining culture results, often leading to the excessive use of antibiotics. This study aimed to compare noninfectious ventriculitis and EVD infection in terms of the risk factors, predictors, prognosis, and effectiveness of care bundle interventions. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at a medical center with 1,006 beds in northern Taiwan between January 2018 and July 2022. Standard EVD insertion protocols and care bundles have been implemented since 2018, along with the initiation of chlorhexidine. Results: In total, 742 EVD cases were identified. Noninfectious ventriculitis typically presents with fever approximately 8 days following EVD placement, whereas EVD infection typically manifests as fever after 20 days. Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage was strongly associated with the development of noninfectious ventriculitis (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5–4.4). Alcoholism (adjusted OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.1–12.3) and arteriovenous malformation (adjusted OR 13.1, 95% CI 2.9–58.2) significantly increased the risk of EVD infection. The EVD infection rate significantly decreased from 3.6% (14 of 446) to 1.0% (3 of 219) (p = 0.03) after the implementation of chlorhexidine gluconate bathing. Conclusions: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage or fever with neuroinflammation within 2 weeks of EVD placement is indicative of a higher likelihood of noninfectious ventriculitis. Conversely, patients with arteriovenous malformation, alcoholism, or fever with neuroinflammation occurring after more than 3 weeks of EVD placement are more likely to necessitate antibiotic treatment for EVD infection. Chlorhexidine gluconate bathing decreases EVD infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurocritical Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Antibiotics
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate bathing
  • External ventriculostomy drain
  • Needle-free connector
  • Ventriculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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