Background: Catheter-related bloodstream infections are costly and associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Trials suggest that central venous catheters impregnated with minocycline/rifampin, although more expensive, are clinically superior to chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine impregnated catheters. It remains unclear whether minocycline/rifampin catheters are cost-effective for all high-risk patients or only those requiring longer-term catheterization.
Methods: We developed a series of decision models with patient-level clinical trial data to determine whether minocycline/rifampin catheters are cost-effective for patients requiring various durations of catheterization. We calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for patients catheterized for durations ranging from 1 to 25 days.
Results: The data were too sparse to estimate cost-effectiveness for patients catheterized less than 8 days. The probability that minocycline/rifampin catheters were cost-effective compared with chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine catheters in patients catheterized for 8 days was 91%. The probability that the minocycline/rifampin catheters in patients catheterized 13 days or longer resulted in cost savings was more than 95%.
Conclusions: Our analysis suggests that central venous catheters coated with minocycline/rifampin are cost-effective for patients catheterized for at least 1 week and lead to overall cost savings when patients are catheterized for 2 weeks or longer. Policies for the use of antimicrobial catheters in high-risk patients should reflect patients' expected duration of catheterization.