Incidence and management of hardware-related wound infections in spinal cord, peripheral nerve field, and deep brain stimulation surgery : a single-center tudy
Introduction: Neuromodulation using deep brain stimulation (DBS), spinal cord stimulation (SCS), and peripheral nerve field stimulation (PNFS) to treat neurological, psychiatric, and pain disorders is a rapidly growing field. Infections related to the implanted hardware are among the most common complications and result in health-related and economic burden. Unfortunately, conservative medical therapy is less likely to be successful. In this retrospective study, we aimed to identify characteristics of the infections and investigated surgical and antimicrobial treatments. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of patients with an infection related to DBS, SCS, and/or PNFS hardware over an 8-year period at our institution. Data were analyzed for type of neurostimulator, time of onset of infection following the neurosurgical procedure, location, and surgical treatment strategy. Surgical treatment of infections consisted of either a surgical wound revision without hardware removal or a surgical wound revision with partial or complete hardware removal. Data were further analyzed for the microorganisms involved, antimicrobial treatment and its duration, and clinical outcome. Results: Over an 8-year period, a total of 1,250 DBS, 1,835 SCS, and 731 PNFS surgeries were performed including de novo system implantations, implanted pulse generator (IPG) replacements, and revisions. We identified 82 patients with infections related to the neurostimulator hardware, representing an incidence of 3.09% of the procedures. Seventy-one percent of the patients had undergone multiple surgeries related to the neurostimulator prior to the infection. The infections occurred after a mean of 12.2 months after the initial surgery. The site of infection was most commonly around the IPG, especially in DBS and SCS. The majority (62.2%) was treated by surgical wound revision with simultaneous partial or complete removal of hardware. Microbiological specimens predominantly yielded Staphylococcus epidermidis (39.0%) and Staphylococcus aureus (35.4%). After surgery, antimicrobials were given for a mean of 3.4 weeks. The antimicrobial regime was significantly shorter in patients with hardware removal in comparison to those who only had undergone surgical wound revision. One intracranial abscess occurred. No cases of infection-related death, sepsis, bacteremia, or intraspinal abscesses were found. Conclusion: Our data did show the predominance of S. epidermidis and S. aureus as etiologic organisms in hardware-related infections. Infections associated with S. aureus most likely required (partial) hardware removal. Aggressive surgical treatment including hardware removal shortens the duration of antimicrobial treatment. Clear strategies should be developed to treat hardware-related infections to optimize patient management and reduce health- and economic-related burden.
Source (journal)
Stereotactic and functional neurosurgery. - Basel
Basel : Karger , 2024
102 :1 (2024) , p. 13-23
Pubmed ID
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 09.01.2024
Last edited 23.04.2024
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