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Med Pediatr Oncol. 1997 Mar;28(3):196-200.

Efficacy of a vancomycin solution to prevent bacteremia associated with an indwelling central venous catheter in neutropenic and non-neutropenic cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


We evaluated the efficacy of a vancomycin solution in the prevention of bacteremia caused by vancomycin-sensitive organisms (VSO) in cancer patients with a tunneled central venous catheter (CVC). Eighty-three patients who had a single lumen CVC were randomized to use a heparin solution (25 U/ml) for daily catheter flush with (HepVan) or without (Hep) vancomycin, 25 mcg/ml. Febrile episodes were recorded, and central and peripheral blood cultures were drawn before beginning antibiotic therapy. Patients participated in follow-up to 16,677 catheter days (8,666 Hep and 8,011 HepVan), and 143 febrile episodes were recorded (82 Hep and 61 HepVan). Forty-four episodes of bacteremia occurred, 23 of them due to VSO (16 occurred in the Hep group and 7 in the HepVan group (P = 0.19). VSO bacteremia occurred in 14 neutropenic (absolute neutrophil count < 500 x 10(9)/l) episodes (7 Hep vs. 7 HepVan) and in 9 non-neutropenic episodes (9 Hep vs. O HepVan; P = 0.013). Vancomycin effectively prevented bacteremia by VSO in non-neutropenic patients, supporting the idea that intraluminal colonization of indwelling CVCs contributes to bacteremia only in these patients.

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