Scientific publications

Intra-catheter leukocyte culture to monitor hemodialysis catheter colonization. A prospective study to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infections

Sep 1, 2008 | Magazine: The International Journal of Artificians Organs

Del Pozo J.L., Aguinaga A., García-Fernández N., Hernáez S., Serrera A., Alonso M., Ramos A., Guillén-Grima F., Leiva J.
Division of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology. University Clinic of Navarra. Pamplona (Spain)

The most serious problem related to the use of tunneled catheters in hemodialysis is bacteremia.

The aim of this study was to detect hemodialysis catheter colonization and, establish a preemptive therapy based on a catheter antibiotic lock in order to prevent development of catheter-related bloodstream infections. During a 24-month period, all patients with tunneled catheters in our hemodialysis unit were evaluated by extracting a through-catheter leukocyte culture every 15 days. There were 28 episodes of catheter colonization occurring in 13 patients (2.2 colonization episodes per 1000 catheter patient-days). At the time of colonization, catheters had been in place for a mean of 562 days (range: 16 to 1475 days). Coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) were the most common microorganisms to be isolated

A preemptive therapy consisting in teicoplanin locks (10 mg/mL) for 21 days was able to eradicate catheter colonization in 89% of the cases when CNS were isolated. However, relapse of colonization occurred in 61.2% of these cases. The mean duration of catheter use was 239 days (range: 9 to 483 days) after treatment of a colonization episode. The incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infection in our population was 0.78 episodes per 1000 catheter patient-days (IC 95%: 0.374-1.434).

This study shows the utility of intra-catheter leukocyte culture for early detection of hemodialysis catheter colonization. Moreover, it establishes that the eradication of biofilm-related CNS is possible without the removal of the catheter, thus enabling a longer catheter lifespan.

CITATION Int J Artif Organs. 2008 Sep;31(9):820-6