OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to determine the association between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers and inflammation, and the predictive value of these CSF biomarkers for subsequent shunt associated infection. METHODS: We obtained CSF samples from the patients with hydrocephalus during ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt operations. Twenty-two patients were enrolled for this study and divided into 3 groups: subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-induced hydrocephalus, idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) and hydrocephalus with a subsequent shunt infection. We analyzed the transforming growth factor-beta1, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and total tau in the CSF by performing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The subsequent development of shunt infection was confirmed by the clinical presentations, the CSF parameters and CSF culture from the shunt devices. RESULTS: The mean VEGF concentration (+/-standard deviation) in the CSF of the SAH-induced hydrocephalus, INPH and shunt infection groups was 236+/-138, 237+/-80 and 627+/-391 pg/mL, respectively. There was a significant difference among the three groups (p=0.01). Between the SAH-induced hydrocephalus and infection groups and between the INPH and infection groups, there was a significant difference of the VEGF levels (p<0.01). However, the other marker levels did not differ among them. CONCLUSION: The present study showed that only the CSF VEGF levels are associated with the subsequent development of shunt infection. Our results suggest that increased CSF VEGF could provide a good condition for bacteria that are introduced at the time of surgery to grow in the brain, rather than reflecting a sequel of bacterial infection before VP shunt.