Background/aim: Ventriculoperitoneal shunt infections remain an important problem and result mainly from perioperative colonization of shunt components by skin flora. Antibiotic-impregnated shunts have been designed to prevent such colonization. This study evaluates the incidence of shunt infection after the insertion of antibiotic-impregnated shunts in a population of children with hydrocephalus. Materials and methods: All pediatric patients who had undergone cerebrospinal fluid shunt insertion retrospectively were reviewed over a 6-year period between May 2004 and December 2010. The primary outcome measure was the rate of shunt infections. Patients were followed up with for an average of 26.2 months after shunt surgery, and shunt infections were evaluated. Results: A total of 123 pediatric patients underwent 211 shunt placement procedures. Of these operations, 193 (91%) were performed with nonimpregnated catheters and 18 shunts (9%) were placed with antibiotic-impregnated shunt catheters. Of the patients with nonimpregnated catheters, 12 (6%) experienced shunt infection, whereas none of the patients with antibiotic-impregnated catheters experienced shunt infection within the 26.2-month follow-up period (P < 0.01). Conclusion: The antibiotic-impregnated catheters significantly reduced the incidence of shunt infection in children with hydrocephalus during the postoperative period. Antibiotic-impregnated catheters are effective devices to prevent perioperative colonization of shunt components. © TÜBİTAK.