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Am J Infect Control. 2003 Feb;31(1):1-8.

Which antimicrobial impregnated central venous catheter should we use? Modeling the costs and outcomes of antimicrobial catheter use.

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Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program, Department of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195, USA.



Catheter-related bloodstream infections are costly and associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Trials suggest that central venous catheters impregnated with minocycline/rifampin, although more expensive, are clinically superior to chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine impregnated catheters. It remains unclear whether minocycline/rifampin catheters are cost-effective for all high-risk patients or only those requiring longer-term catheterization.


We developed a series of decision models with patient-level clinical trial data to determine whether minocycline/rifampin catheters are cost-effective for patients requiring various durations of catheterization. We calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for patients catheterized for durations ranging from 1 to 25 days.


The data were too sparse to estimate cost-effectiveness for patients catheterized less than 8 days. The probability that minocycline/rifampin catheters were cost-effective compared with chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine catheters in patients catheterized for 8 days was 91%. The probability that the minocycline/rifampin catheters in patients catheterized 13 days or longer resulted in cost savings was more than 95%.


Our analysis suggests that central venous catheters coated with minocycline/rifampin are cost-effective for patients catheterized for at least 1 week and lead to overall cost savings when patients are catheterized for 2 weeks or longer. Policies for the use of antimicrobial catheters in high-risk patients should reflect patients' expected duration of catheterization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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