Background: The indication of antiseptic-coated catheters remains debated.
Objective: To test the ability of the new generation of chlorhexidine-silver and sulfadiazine-coated catheters, with enhanced antiseptic coating, to reduce the risk of central venous catheter (CVC)-related infection in ICU patients.
Design: Multicentre randomized double-blind trial.
Patients and setting: A total of 397 patients from 14 ICUs of university hospitals in France.
Intervention: Patients were randomized to receive an antiseptic-coated catheter (ACC) or a standard non-coated catheter (NCC).
Measurements: Incidence of CVC-related infection.
Results: Of 367 patients having a successful catheter insertion, 363 were analysed (175 NCC and 188 ACC). Patients had one (NCC=162, ACC=180) or more (NCC=13, ACC=11) CVC inserted. The two groups were similar for insertion site [subclavian (64 vs 69)] or jugular (36 vs 31%)], and type of catheters (single-lumen 18 vs 18%; double-lumen 82 vs 82%), and mean (median) duration of catheterisation [12.0+/-11.7 (9) vs 10.5+/-8.8 (8) days in the NCC and ACC groups, respectively]. Significant colonisation of the catheter occurred in 23 (13.1%) and 7 (3.7%) patients, respectively, in the NCC and ACC groups (11 vs 3.6 per 1000 catheter-days; p=0.01); CVC-related infection (bloodstream infection) occurred in 10 (5) and 4 (3) patients in the NCC and CC groups, respectively (5.2 vs 2 per 1000 catheter days; p=0.10).
Conclusions: In the context of a low baseline infection rate, ACC were associated with a significant reduction of catheter colonisation and a trend to reduction of infection episodes, but not of bloodstream infection.