Comparative Analysis of Surgical Site Infections in Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients: Hygiene Practices, Risk Factors, and Implications for Healthcare Costs and Mortality

Syed Ibrahim Bukhari, Muhammad Sohaib Shahid, Naureen Mushtaq, Hira Saleem, Altaf Ali Laghari, Zahra Saeed Ahmed, Shayan Anwar, Farrah Bashir, Zehra Fadoo, Fatima Mir, Sadaf Altaf

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Syed Ibrahim Bukhari Surgical site infections (SSIs) significantly impact pediatric central nervous system tumor outcomes. We present our data of SSIs and their influence on outcomes of pediatric brain tumor patients treated between January 2011 till December 2022. This study utilized retrospective data from patients'medical records. Chi-squared test was used for correlational analysis. Independent sample t -test was used for equality of means. Linear and logistic regression was done to review impact of independent variables on dependent variable. Survival analysis was done using Kaplan-Meier curves. Between 2011 and 2022, 336 pediatric patients (202 males, 134 females) were diagnosed with brain tumors. Majority patients (279; 83%) underwent surgery (91% elective). Commonest tumor site was cerebellum (84/279; 30%). Tumor resection status was gross total resection (29/279; 46%), subtotal resection (59/279; 21%), near total resection (48/279; 17%), and partial resection (20/279; 7%); while 32/279 patients (11%) had a biopsy only. Hydrocephalus was present in 166/279 patients (59%); while majority (160/166; 96%) underwent a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion procedure. SSI developed in 23/279 patients (8%), leading to delayed postoperative management in majority (15/23; 65%). SSIs were significantly associated with lower age of presentation (p = 0.01), less duration between symptoms and diagnosis (p = 0.00), performance of CSF diversion procedure (p = 0.04), increase in hospital stay (p = 0.00), delay in postoperative management (15/23; 65%) (p = 0.01), decline in treatment completion (p = 0.01), and poor survival (p = 0.01). Majority (171/279) of patients (61%) completed treatment. The overall survival of our cohort was 84.9% with a median follow-up time of 11 (interquartile range [IQR]: 36, 1) months. Survival was significantly lower (56.5%) in patients with SSI (p = 0.01). Median time to death was 18 months. Progression-free survival was 77.4% with a median progression-free time of 8 (IQR: 28, 1) months. Median time to progression was 9 (IQR: 24, 4.5) months. The incidence of SSIs in our cohort closely resembled that of high-income countries. Risk factors for SSIs included younger age, a shorter time between symptom onset and surgery, undertaking of CSF diversion procedures. Adverse effects of SSIs included increased costs, delays in postoperative management, incomplete treatment, and higher mortality rates. This study emphasizes the substantial impact of SSIs on healthcare resources and patient well-being.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSouth Asian Journal of Cancer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • neuro-oncology
  • pediatric
  • pediatric brain tumors
  • surgical site infection


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