Antibiotic-lock therapy for long-term intravascular catheter-related bacteraemia: Results of an open, non-comparative study

Nuria Fernandez-Hidalgo, Benito Almirante, Raquel Calleja, Isabel Ruiz, Ana M. Planes, Dolors Rodriguez, Carles Pigrau, Albert Pahissa

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121 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Infection is one of the main problems associated with long-term central venous catheters. This study assesses the effectiveness of antibiotic-lock therapy (ALT) for treating catheter-related bacteraemia (CRB). Methods: CRB was defined as quantitative blood culture counts through any catheter lumen 5-fold greater than concurrent peripheral blood culture, and qualitative blood culture positive for the same microorganism in all samples. Systemic treatment and ALT were started simultaneously using vancomycin (2000 mg/L) for Gram-positive organisms, and ciprofloxacin or amikacin (2000 mg/L) for Gram-negative bacilli. Heparin was added to ALT. Effectiveness was assessed by clinical and microbiological criteria. Cure was defined as negative blood cultures at both sites without catheter removal at 1 month after the completion of therapy. Results: A total of 115 episodes of CRB in 98 patients were analysed. Catheters were used for chemotherapy (50 episodes), haemodialysis (37), total parenteral nutrition (24) and combined chemotherapy and nutrition (4). Median time from catheter placement to CRB onset was 105 days (IQ range 26-210). Aetiologies included Gram-positive organisms [56 coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS), 20 Staphylococcus aureus and 5 other organisms] in 81 episodes (70%), Gram-negative bacilli (11 Escherichia coli, 5 Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 10 other organisms) in 26 (23%) and polymicrobial in 8 (7%). A total of 94 episodes were cured (82%). There were 21 therapeutic failures: 9 S. aureus (1 related death), 9 CoNS, 1 P. aeruginosa, 1 Proteus vulgaris and 1 polymicrobial. Median catheter follow-up in therapeutic success was 168 days (range 7-2740). Conclusions: ALT combined with systemic antibiotics seems to be effective for treating CRB, especially in Gram-negative and CoNS episodes. S. aureus CRB had an elevated rate of therapeutic failure. © 2006 Oxford University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1172-1180
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Conservative treatment
  • Long-term central venous catheters
  • Outcome


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