Efficiency of topical rifampin on infection in open neural tube defects: a randomized controlled trial

Deger I., Basaranoglu M., Demir N., Aycan A., Tuncer O.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol.131, no.12, pp.1215-1220, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 131 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00207454.2021.1909583
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1215-1220
  • Keywords: Neural tube defect, Newborn, Rifampin, Sepsis
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives Neural tube defects are the second most common congenital malformation in humans. Despite significant decreases in neural tube defects and related mortality and morbidity with recent developments, infections remain an important problem. Research on the role of topical therapy for managing neural tube defects and associated infections in the neonatal period has been limited. This randomized controlled trial aimed to investigate the efficiency of topical Rifampin on infection control in paraplegic newborns with open neural tube defects. Methods Thirty-seven patients who underwent an operation for neural tube defects were included. Topical Rifampin and cefotaxime were administered to 19 patients constituting the case group and local saline and cefotaxime were administered to a control group. Patients were examined for ventriculoperitoneal shunt infection/dysfunction, surgical site infection, urinary tract infection, and sepsis. Results None of the patients using topical rifampin had ventriculoperitoneal shunt infection/dysfunction, surgical site infection, urinary tract infection, or sepsis. In the control group, ventriculoperitoneal shunt infection/dysfunction was found in 4 (22.2%) cases, surgical site infection in 3 (27.7%), urinary tract infection in 3 (27.7%), and sepsis in 5 (27.7%), with statistically significant differences between the groups (p = 0.01, p = 0.032, p = 0.032, and p = 0.002, respectively). No local or systemic side effect was observed regarding rifampin use. Conclusion Topical Rifampin is effective in minimizing complications like sepsis, surgical site infection, urinary tract infection, and ventriculoperitoneal shunt infection due to neural tube defect operations. Further research with larger numbers of cases is needed to implement this practice routinely.