Tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1 beta levels in cerebrospinal fluid examination for the diagnosis of ventriculoperitoneal shunt-related ventriculitis

PURPOSE Ventriculitis is known to develop after chronic inflammation and bacterial invasion of the ventricular surface with a recurrence of shunt infections. The aim of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic value of elevation in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) together with CSF culture and laboratory test results in the diagnosis of ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt-related ventriculitis, which is known to be more problematic than conventional shunt infection.
METHODS The study included a total of 34 patients with a VP shunt due to hydrocephalus, who presented with a headache, fever, and shunt infection at the Emergency Department and had a pre-diagnosis of ventriculitis. Nineteen patients were diagnosed with shunt-related infection or ventriculitis using the CSF obtained from the shunt pump. The IL-1β and TNF-α levels from the CSF samples of all patients were measured using the Micro ELISA immunoassay method.
RESULTS CSF direct microscopic observation revealed that the mean cell count, IL-1β level, CRP level, and blood leukocyte level were higher in patients with ventriculitis compared to those diagnosed with shunt infection (p = 0.02, p = 0.009, p = 0.004, and p = 0.009, respectively). The probability of predicting positive culture outcome was 92.7% with 90.9% sensitivity and 82.6% specificity when IL-1β values exceeded 4.0 pg/ml. TNF-α values did not show a significant, reliable pattern compared to IL-1β.
CONCLUSIONS IL-1β is a reliable parameter which shall be used in the diagnosis of ventriculitis by predicting positive culture outcome with high sensitivity and specificity.

as reported in: Childs Nerv Syst. 2019 Jan 28 [Epub ahead of print]