J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg 2019; 80(02): 116-121
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1676576
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Placement of External Ventricular Drain: Comparison of Two Methods

Michael Bender
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Universitatsklinikum Giessen und Marburg Standort Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Frank Schwarm
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Universitatsklinikum Giessen und Marburg Standort Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Marco Stein
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Universitatsklinikum Giessen und Marburg Standort Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Eberhard Uhl
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Universitatsklinikum Giessen und Marburg Standort Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Marcus H.T. Reinges
2   Department of Neurosurgery, Bremen-Mitte Hospital, Bremen, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

26 June 2018

28 August 2018

Publication Date:
01 February 2019 (online)


Background Insertion of a frontal external ventricular drain (EVD) is a common emergency procedure in neurosurgery. Malpositioning of the EVD and/or triggering a new intracerebral or intraventricular hemorrhage (nICVH) are typical complications. The standard procedure (SP) uses a tape measure to identify the Kocher's point for placement of a frontal burr hole. A faster alternative to determine the correct position is the freehand technique (FHT). This study compared both techniques with regard to the correct positioning of the EVD tip and the induction catheter-induced nICVH.

Methods We performed a retrospective analysis of patients who required an EVD for acute or chronic hydrocephalus between January 2013 and March 2014. The study consisted of two groups. In the first group, EVDs were placed with the FHT. In the second group the SP was used. Postoperative computed tomography scans were analyzed regarding correct positioning of the ventricular catheter, malpositioning of the tip of the EVD using a 4-point-scale, and evidence for catheter-induced nICVH.

Results A total of 95 patients could be included. The FHT was performed in 43 cases and the SP in 52 cases. No significant differences between the two groups were found regarding the correct position of the EVD tip (p = 0.38) and nICVH (p = 0.12). There was no significant difference in malpositioning of the EVD tip between the groups (p = 0.34).

Conclusion Our results show no significant differences between the two methods with regard to correct position, malpositioning, and nICVH. Thus we conclude that the FHT is a fast, safe, and effective alternative to the SP.

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