Best practices for the use of intracerebroventricular drug delivery devices

Irene Slavc, Jessica L. Cohen-Pfeffer, Sridharan Gururangan, Jeanne Krauser, Daniel A. Lim, Marcos Maldaun, Christoph Schwering, Adam J. Shaywitz, Manfred Westphal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


For decades, intracerebroventricular (ICV), or intraventricular, devices have been used in the treatment of a broad range of pediatric and adult central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Due to the limited permeability of the blood brain barrier, diseases with CNS involvement may require direct administration of drugs into the brain to achieve full therapeutic effect. A recent comprehensive literature review on the clinical use and complications of ICV drug delivery revealed that device-associated complication rates are variable, and may be as high as 33% for non-infectious complications and 27% for infectious complications. The variability in reported safety outcomes may be driven by a lack of consensus on best practices of device use. Numerous studies have demonstrated that employing strict aseptic techniques and following stringent protocols can dramatically reduce complications. Key practices to be considered in facilitating the safe, long-term use of these devices are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-188
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Consensus
  • Drug delivery
  • ICV
  • Intracerebroventricular
  • Intrathecal
  • Ommaya reservoir
  • Rickham reservoir


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