Comparative effectiveness of two catheter locking solutions to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infection in hemodialysis patients

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Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology


Background and objectives Infection is the second leading cause of death in hemodialysis patients. Catheterrelated bloodstreaminfection and infection-relatedmortality have not improved in this population over the past two decades. This study evaluated the impact of a prophylactic antibiotic lock solution on the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infection and mortality. Design, setting, participants, & measurements This prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study compared the effectiveness of two catheter locking solutions (gentamicin/citrate versus heparin) in 555 hemodialysis patients dialyzing with a tunneled cuffed catheter between 2008 and 2011. The groups were not mutually exclusive. Rates of catheter-related bloodstream infection and mortality hazards were compared between groups. Results The study population (n=555 and 1350 catheters) had amedian age of 62 years (interquartile range=41–83 years), with 50% men and 71% black. There were 427 patients evaluable in the heparin period (84,326 days) and 322 patients evaluable in the antibiotic lock period (71,192 days). Catheter-related bloodstream infection in the antibiotic lock period (0.45/1000 catheter days)was 73%lower than the heparin period (1.68/1000 catheter days; P=0.001).Antibiotic lock usewas associatedwith a decreased risk of catheter-related bloodstream infection compared with heparin (risk ratio, 0.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.13 to 0.38 after multivariate adjustment). Cox proportional hazards modeling found that antibiotic lock was associated with a reduction in mortality (hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.22 to 0.58 in unadjusted analyses; hazard ratio, 0.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.14 to 0.75 after multivariate adjustment). The rate of gentamicin-resistant organisms decreased (0.40/1000 person-years to 0.22/1000 person-years) in the antibiotic lock period (P=0.01). Conclusions The results of this study show that the use of a prophylactic, gentamicin/citrate lock was associated with a substantial reduction in catheter-related bloodstream infection and is the first to report a survival advantage of antibiotic lock in a population at high risk of infection-related morbidity and mortality.

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