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Am Surg. 1996 Aug;62(8):641-6.

Failure of antiseptic bonding to prevent central venous catheter-related infection and sepsis.

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Department of Surgery, Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.


Infection associated with the use of triple lumen catheters in hospitals is a frequent and serious complication. The prevailing hypothesis for the origin of catheter-related infection (CRI) is bacterial colonization and subsequent infection of the skin insertion site and catheter interface. The recently released ARROWgard catheter contains a bonded synergistic combination of silver sulfadiazine and chlorhexidine, which is thought to render the catheter resistant to bacterial colonization and subsequent sepsis. The purpose of this study is to compare the incidence of CRI and catheter-related sepsis (CRS) between a standard triple lumen catheter and ARROWgard antiseptic coated catheter in patients receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN). A randomized, prospective clinical trial was conducted at a community referral center from January 1993 through April 1994. One-hundred-ninety-one patients with need for TPN were randomized to receive either the ARROWgard or a standard triple lumen catheter placed under a strict sterile protocol. CRI was defined as >/= 15 colony forming units by semiquantitative culture technique of the catheter tip or intracutaneous segment. CRS was defined as growth of the same organism on the catheter and at least one peripheral blood culture. All catheters were cultured. Ninety-two patients received the ARROWgard catheter, and 99 patients received the standard catheter. There were no differences between the average age, sex, length of hospital stay, days on TPN, number of catheters/patient, indications for TPN, primary diagnoses, or duration of the central line between the two groups. The overall rate of CRI was 11.5 per cent, and CRS was 8.4 per cent in this study. The rate of CRI for the ARROWgard was 10.9 per cent, compared with 12.9 per cent for the standard catheter (P = NS). The rate of CRS for the ARROWgard was 8.7 per cent, compared with 8.1 per cent for the standard catheter (P = NS). The coating of central venous catheters with silver sulfadiazine and chlorhexidine does not reduce the rate CRI or CRS when compared with standard central venous catheters in patients receiving TPN.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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