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Ann Hematol. 2005 Apr;84(4):258-62. Epub 2004 Nov 10.

Reduction of catheter-related infections in neutropenic patients: a prospective controlled randomized trial using a chlorhexidine and silver sulfadiazine-impregnated central venous catheter.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Antiseptic coating of intravascular catheters may be an effective means of decreasing catheter-related colonization and subsequent infection. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of chlorhexidine and silver sulfadiazine (CH-SS)-impregnated central venous catheters (CVCs) to prevent catheter-related colonization and infection in patients with hematological malignancies who were subjected to intensive chemotherapy and suffered from severe and sustained neutropenia. Proven CVC-related bloodstream infection (BSI) was defined as the isolation of the same species from peripheral blood culture and CVC tip (Maki technique). This randomized, prospective clinical trial was carried out in 106 patients and compared catheter-related colonization and BSI using a CH-SS-impregnated CVC (n=51) to a control arm using a standard uncoated triple-lumen CVC (n=55). Patients were treated for acute leukemia (n=89), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (n=10), and multiple myeloma (n=7). Study groups were balanced regarding to age, sex, underlying diseases, insertion site, and duration of neutropenia. The CVCs were in situ a mean of 14.3+/-8.2 days (mean+/-SD) in the study group versus 16.6+/-9.7 days in the control arm. Catheter-related colonization was observed less frequently in the study group (five vs nine patients; p=0.035). CVC-related BSI were significantly less frequent in the study group (one vs eight patients; p=0.02). In summary, in patients with severe neutropenia, CH-SS-impregnated CVCs yield a significant antibacterial effect resulting in a significantly lower rate of catheter-related colonization as well as CVC-related BSI.

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