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J Hosp Infect. 2012 Oct;82(2):101-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2012.07.010. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Comparison of triple-lumen central venous catheters impregnated with silver nanoparticles (AgTive®) vs conventional catheters in intensive care unit patients.

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Department of Intensive Care and Anaesthesiology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.



Silver-impregnated central venous catheters (CVCs) have been proposed as a means for preventing CVC colonization and related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs).


To evaluate the efficacy of CVCs impregnated with silver nanoparticles in a large group of critically ill patients.


A prospective, randomized clinical trial was conducted in five intensive care units (ICUs). Three hundred and thirty-eight adult patients requiring CVCs between April 2006 and November 2008 were randomized to receive AgTive silver-nanoparticle-impregnated (SC) or conventional (CC) CVCs. Primary endpoints were CVC colonization (growth of ≥15 colony-forming units from the catheter tip) and incident CRBSIs (meeting the definitions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Infection-free time (days from initial CVC insertion to initial blood culture positivity) and ICU mortality rates were measured as secondary endpoints.


The SC group (N = 135) and CC group (N = 137) were similar in terms of clinical and laboratory parameters at baseline, reasons for ICU admission, complications during CVC insertion, and total time with CVC (mean ± standard deviation; SC 13 ± 24 vs CC 15 ± 37 days). No significant intergroup differences were found in CVC colonization rates (SC 32.6% vs CC 30%; P = 0.7), CRBSI incidence rates (3.36 infections per 1000 catheter-days in both groups), infection-free times (SC 13 ± 34 vs CC 12 ± 12 days; P = 0.85) or ICU mortality (SC 46% vs CC 43%; P = 0.7).


In critically ill patients, use of AgTive(®) silver-nanoparticle-impregnated CVCs had no significant effect on CVC colonization, CRBSI incidence or ICU mortality. These CVCs cannot be recommended as an adjunctive tool for control of CRBSIs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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