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J Hosp Infect. 2012 Apr;80(4):304-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2012.01.003. Epub 2012 Feb 18.

Randomized controlled trial of taurolidine citrate versus heparin as catheter lock solution in paediatric patients with haematological malignancies.

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Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.



A catheter lock solution containing 1.35% taurolidine and 4% citrate could potentially disrupt bacterial surface adherence and consecutive biofilm production due to the anti-adherence properties of taurolidine and the anticlotting and chelator activities of both compounds.


To compare the impact on microbial catheter colonization and infectious complications of heparin and taurolidine citrate as central venous catheter (CVC) lock solutions in paediatric patients with haematological malignancies.


Seventy-one patients aged 1.4-18 years were randomized to two treatment groups using either heparin (N = 36) or taurolidine citrate (N = 35). Infectious complications and clinical side-effects were prospectively monitored and microbial colonization of catheters was assessed at the time of removal.


There were two bloodstream infections in the taurolidine citrate group versus nine in the heparin group (0.3 vs 1.3 infections per 1000 catheter-days; P = 0.03). Fever of unknown origin and catheter occlusions were observed with a similar frequency in both groups. Microbial colonization was found in 25.4% catheters. The time of no-lock use, but not the type of lock solution or time of observation, was a significant predictor of catheter colonization (P = 0.004). Colonization was not observed in CVCs used immediately with taurolidine citrate lock. Seven patients in the taurolidine citrate group (20%) experienced side-effects (nausea, vomiting, abnormal taste sensations).


The use of taurolidine citrate lock solution was associated with a significant reduction in bloodstream infection in immunocompromised paediatric patients. Taurolidine citrate may prevent colonization of CVCs if used from the time of insertion, but not after a period of no-lock catheter use.

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