INTRODUCTION: Ventriculo-peritoneal shunt infection is the most important complication of shunt applications. In pediatric age, shunt infections are associated with shunt dysfunction, requirement for shunt revision, neurodevelopmental delay, prolonged hospital stay, and high treatment costs. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the characteristics of shunt infections of our patients and to compare the differences between early and late infections, infections caused by staphylococci and other strains and infection that did and did not recur.
METHODS: In this retrospective study, shunt infections treated in the Pediatric Infection Clinic of Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital between July 2008 and July 2011 were evaluated.
RESULTS: Forty-seven shunt infections in 42 patients were evaluated. Congenital anomalies were the most common etiology of hydrocephalus and fever was the most common symptom of the patients. Higher rates of early shunt infections, shunt infections in early childhood and infections caused by staphylococci species were observed. Patients with infections caused by staphylococci species received shorter duration of antibiotherapy (p=0.024). Infections that recurred in the six months of follow-up had higher rates of positive blood cultures (p=0.022). There was no statistically significant difference between early and late-term shunt infections.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Shunt infections were evaluated in different aspects in our study. Direct colonization of the shunt catheter still seems to be most important cause for the shunt infections because early infections and infections caused by skin flora were more common in our patient group.