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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 Aug;20(8):566-8.

Diagnosis of catheter-related bloodstream infections: is it necessary to culture the subcutaneous catheter segment?

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  • 1The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health, Houston 77030, USA.


In order to determine the diagnostic usefulness of culturing the subcutaneous catheter segment, an analysis was performed using data derived from two prospective, randomized studies that included 479 patients with central venous catheters and 13 episodes of catheter-related bacteremia. The results indicate that quantitative culture, using the roll-plate and sonication methods, of the subcutaneous catheter segment did not add to the diagnostic yield (sensitivity, 83-100%; specificity, 82-97%; negative predictive value, 100%) of semiquantitative and quantitative catheter-tip cultures or aid in identifying catheter-related bloodstream infections.

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