Infection risk with nitrofurazone-impregnated urinary catheters in trauma patients: a randomized trial

Ann Intern Med. 2007 Sep 4;147(5):285-93. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-147-5-200709040-00002.


Background: Urinary tract infection is one of the most common nosocomial infections in hospitalized patients. It is predominantly associated with indwelling urinary catheters.

Objective: To determine whether nitrofurazone-impregnated urinary catheters reduce the incidence of catheter-associated bacteriuria and funguria (CABF).

Design: Randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.

Setting: Copenhagen Trauma Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Patients: 212 consecutive adult trauma patients admitted between July 2003 and August 2005. Eligible patients needed a urinary catheter on arrival and were excluded if they were HIV positive, were pregnant, had a primary burn injury, or were receiving steroid treatment or if informed consent was unattainable.

Interventions: Nitrofurazone-impregnated or standard silicone catheter throughout the duration of catheterization.

Measurements: Catheter-associated bacteriuria and funguria, defined as at least 10(3) colony-forming units/mL, was assessed daily until removal of the catheter, with a prespecified minimum of 24-hour follow-up for the primary analysis. The microbiologist was blinded to study group assignment.

Results: 1190 urine cultures were obtained over 1001 catheter-days. Catheter-associated bacteriuria and funguria occurred less frequently in the nitrofurazone catheter group than in the silicone catheter group (7 of 77 [9.1%] vs. 19 of 77 [24.7%]; incidence per 1000 catheter-days, 13.8 vs. 38.6; adjusted risk, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.14 to 0.70]; P = 0.005). Onset of CABF was delayed in the nitrofurazone group (P = 0.01), and nitrofurazone catheters led to fewer instances of new or changed antimicrobial therapy (adjusted risk, 0.27 [CI, 0.10 to 0.69]; P = 0.006).

Limitations: The clinical significance of asymptomatic bacteriuria and funguria is unclear. Data were missing in 27% of patients, and the magnitude of effect of the nitrofurazone catheters varied by assumptions about outcomes in patients who did not complete 24-hour follow-up.

Conclusions: Nitrofurazone-impregnated urinary catheters reduced the incidence of CABF in adult trauma patients, reducing the need to change or prescribe new antimicrobial therapy. registration number: NCT00192985.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / administration & dosage*
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mycoses / prevention & control
  • Nitrofurazone / administration & dosage*
  • Urinary Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
  • Nitrofurazone

Associated data