Major article| Volume 42, ISSUE 11, P1182-1187, November 2014

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Usefulness of endoluminal catheter colonization surveillance cultures to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections in hemodialysis

Published:September 20, 2014DOI:


      • We evaluated endoluminal surveillance cultures to prevent bacteremia in hemodialysis.
      • Our approach was useful in triaging patients at high risk of infection.
      • Antibiotic lock therapy was used only in patients with positive cultures.
      • Catheter-related bacteremia decreased from 1.65 to 0.27 episodes per 1,000 catheter days.


      To evaluate the use of surveillance cultures (SCs) to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) in asymptomatic hemodialysis (HD) patients.


      In 2011-2012, we conducted a prospective study of HD patients with tunneled cuffed central venous catheters (TCCs). Colonization of the catheter lumen was assessed every 15 days by inoculating ∼5 mL endoluminal blood into aerobic culture bottles. Individual patients were triaged based on SC results: group 1 (negative); group 2 (coagulase-negative Staphylococcus [CoNS] with time-to-positivity (TTP) >14 hours); group 3 (CoNS with TTP ≤14 hours); and group 4 (any microorganism other than CoNS and any TTP).


      We studied 104 patients (129 TCCs). Median follow-up was 262.5 days (interquartile range [IR], 135.0-365.0). A total of 1,734 SCs were collected (median, 18 per patient; IR, 10.0-24.0), of which 1,634 (94.2%) were negative (group 1) and 100 (5.8%) were positive (group 2: 79; group 3: 12, group 4: 9). In groups 2 and 3, 19 TCCs required antibiotic lock therapy (ALT). In group 4, all patients received intravenous therapy and ALT. Under this protocol, there were 0.27 episodes of CRBSI per 1,000 catheter days compared with 1.65 (P < .001) prior to its implementation.


      SCs based on easily accessible samples proved useful in triaging HD patients at a high risk of infection.

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