Prophylactic antibiotics in pediatric shunt surgery

N. Biyani, G. Grisaru-Soen, P. Steinbok, S. Sgouros, S. Constantini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The optimal antibiotic prophylaxis for pediatric shunt-related procedures is not clear. There is much inconsistency among different medical centers. This paper summarizes and analyzes the various prophylactic antibiotic regiments used for shunt-related surgeries at different pediatric neurosurgery centers in the world. Materials and methods: A survey questionnaire was distributed through the Pediatric Neurosurgery list-server (an e-mail-based special interest group in pediatric neurosurgery). Forty-five completed questionnaires were received, one per medical center, primarily from pediatric neurosurgeons with the following geographic breakdown: 25 from North America, 13 from Europe, and 7 from Asia and other countries. All centers routinely administered prophylactic antibiotics for shunt-related procedures. The drugs of choice were first-generation cephalosporins (23), second-generation cephalosporins (10), naficillin/ oxacillin (4), vancomycin (3), clindamycin (1), amoxicillin (1), and mixed protocols in three centers. The initial drug administration ("first dose") was: in the department before transfer to operating room (5), upon arrival to operating room (11), at induction of anesthesia (13), and at initial skin incision (16). The duration of antibiotic dosage also varied: single dose (13), 24-h administration (26), 48-h administration (2), and longer than 48 h in four centers. Results and discussion: Two general tendencies were noted, common to the majority of participating centers. There was a general trend to modify antibiotic treatment protocol in "high-risk" populations. The second common theme noted in more than half of responding centers was the use of long-term antibiotic treatment for externalized devices (such as externalized shunts, external ventricular drains or lumbar drains), usually till the device was in place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1465-1471
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic prophylaxis
  • Meningitis
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Shunt infection
  • VP shunt


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