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Accuracy and complication rates of external ventricular drain placement with twist drill and bolt system versus standard trephine and tunnelation: a retrospective population-based study.

Journal article
Authors Nadia Mansoor
Mattis A Madsbu
Nina M Mansoor
Andreas N Trønnes
Oddrun A Fredriksli
Øyvind Salvesen
Asgeir Store Jakola
Ole Solheim
Sasha Gulati
Published in Acta neurochirurgica
ISSN 0942-0940
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Language en
Subject categories Neurosurgery


An external ventricular drain (EVD) is typically indicated in the presence of hydrocephalus and increased intracranial pressure (ICP). Procedural challenges have prompted the development of different methods to improve accuracy, safety, and logistics.EVD placement and complications rates were compared using two surgical techniques; the standard method (using a 14-mm trephine burrhole with the EVD tunnelated through the skin) was compared to a less invasive method (EVD placed through a 2.7-3.3-mm twist drill burrhole and fixed to the bone with a bolt system).Retrospective observational study in a single-centre setting between 2008 and 2018. EVD placement was assessed using the Kakarla scoring system. We registered postoperative complications, surgery duration and number of attempts to place the EVD.Two hundred seventy-two patients received an EVD (61 bolt EVDs, 211 standard EVDs) in the study period. Significant differences between the bolt system and the standard method were observed in terms of revision surgeries (8.2% vs. 21.5%, p = 0.020), surgery duration (mean 16.5 vs. 28.8 min, 95% CI 7.64, 16.8, p < 0.001) and number of attempts to successfully place the first EVD (mean 1.72 ± 1.2 vs. 1.32 ± 0.8, p = 0.017). There were no differences in accuracy of placement or complication rates.The two methods show similar accuracy and postoperative complication rates. Observed differences in both need for revisions and surgery duration favoured the bolt group. Slightly, more attempts were needed to place the initial EVD in the bolt group, perhaps reflecting lower flexibility for angle correction with a twist drill approach.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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