Central venous catheter sepsis: Prognosis and treatment

F. Bozzetti, E. Regalia, L. Pinardi, G. Terno

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognosis of patients with central venous catheter (CVC) sepsis, with particular reference to two therapeutic procedures, 1) CVC exchange over a guide wire and 2) removal of the catheter. An evaluation was made of the clinical records of 22 cancer patients receiving total parenteral nutrition because of severe malnutrition and of 27 CVC-related septic episodes defined as growth of the same microorganism on the CVC and in peripheral blood. Bacteriological findings included Candidae n = 17, S albus n = 4, E Cloacae n = 4, Enterococcus n = 1 and P aeruginosa n = 1. In 22 cases the CVC was exchanged and in five cases it was removed on the clinical suspicion of CVC-related sepsis. Nineteen of the 22 patients had their blood culture rendered negative with CVC exchange and in three of the other five patients it was resolved bacteriologically after removal of the CVC. There was no clear effect of the CVC sepsis on the final outcome of the patients' illness. In fact, seven patients eventually died because of reasons apparently unrelated to the CVC sepsis-which had bacteriologically and clinically resolved-and seven patients recovered and were discharged in good condition despite the initial failure of CVC manipulation. The conclusion reached was that death should not occur as a result of CVC sepsis, provided this is properly identified and adequately treated. Since CVC change allows earlier recognition of the complication and effective treatment, it may be considered the therapy of choice in the management of suspected CVC sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Health Professions(all)


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