Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A retrospective study of central nervous system shunt infections diagnosed in a university hospital during a 4-year period

Suzan Sacar1*, Huseyin Turgut1*, Semra Toprak1*, Bayram Cirak2, Erdal Coskun2, Ozlem Yilmaz1 and Koray Tekin3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Pamukkale University, Faculty of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey

2 Department of Neurosurgery, Pamukkale University, Faculty of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey

3 Department of General Surgery, Pamukkale University, Faculty of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:43  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-43

Published: 8 March 2006



Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts are used for intracranial pressure management and temporary cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage. Infection of the central nervous system (CNS) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with CSF shunts. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical features, pathogens, and outcomes of 22 patients with CSF shunt infections collected over 4 years.


The patients with shunt insertions were evaluated using; age, sex, etiology of hydrocephalus, shunt infection numbers, biochemical and microbiological parameters, prognosis, clinical infection features and clinical outcome.


The most common causes of the etiology of hydrocephalus in shunt infected patients were congenital hydrocephalus-myelomeningocele (32%) and meningitis (23%). The commonest causative microorganism identified was Staphylococcus (S.) aureus, followed by Acinetobacter spp., and S. epidermidis.


In a case of a shunt infection the timely usage of appropriate antibiotics, according to the antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and the removal of the shunt apparatus is essential for successful treatment.