, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 248-252
Date: 16 Oct 2008

Malplacement of Ventricular Catheters by Neurosurgeons: A Single Institution Experience

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The placement of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion devices requires an appropriate technical expertise associated with proper surgical training in order to minimize undue complications. This study sought to review a single institution’s experience with placement of external ventricular drains (EVD) and ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts as performed by neurosurgeons with procedure-specific training.


A retrospective database review was conducted for all patients who underwent intraventricular CSF diversion over a 5-year period from March 2003 to February 2008. Included in the analysis were ventriculostomy procedures that included EVDs, VP shunts, and ventriculoatrial shunts.


A total of 138 patients underwent 212 ventriculostomy procedures. Seventy-one (51%) patients were male and sixty-seven (49%) were female. The median age was 50.1 years. A ventriculostomy-related hemorrhage was identified in 15 (7.1%) patients—4 of whom developed new symptoms. Twenty-six (12.3%) ventriculostomy catheters were malplaced as determined from post-procedural imaging. Ventriculostomy-related infections were identified in 7 (3.3%) patients, 4 of whom had EVDs and 3 of whom had VP shunts.


The placement of intraventricular catheters by neurosurgeons remains a relatively safe and effective procedure that is associated with infrequent rates of symptomatic hemorrhage and infection.