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Anticancer Res. 1998 Sep-Oct;18(5B):3629-38.

Anti-infective catheters: novel strategies to prevent nosocomial infections in oncology.

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  • 1Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Cologne, Köln, Germany.


Intravenous access contributes significantly to the therapeutical success and to the comfort of oncologic patients. The highest risk for bloodstream infections, however, is vascular catheter-mediated. In oncology high mortality is associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus sepsis. Besides established hygienic measures, the coupling or incorporation of antimicrobial substances to or into catheter materials may be a suitable way to prevent the development of catheter-associated infections. Here we present a risk- benefit evaluation of different models of antimicrobial catheter coated with silver, antiseptics or antibiotics. The controversial reports on clinical efficacy and the potential of adverse reactions due to silver and antiseptic coated catheters are discussed. The microbiological, pharmaceutical and physicochemical backgrounds of different types of coating are discussed in detail. Incorporation of antimicrobial agents into long-term silicon catheters providing a slow release of those substances through the external and internal surfaces of catheters may be the most effective technological innovation for reducing biomaterial-mediated nosocomial infections.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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