Central venous catheter-associated bloodstream infections

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Aug;59(2):410-4. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24135. Epub 2012 Apr 25.


Background: To investigate the epidemiologic and microbiological aspects of long-term central vein catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infections (CABSI) in children <18 years old treated at the hemato-oncology unit during 1998-2008.

Patients and methods: The two long-term access devices used were Hickman and Port-A-Cath catheters. Information retrieved included demographic data, baseline pathologies, methods of insertion, anatomical insertion sites, duration of use, microbiological, and antibiotic susceptibility data and outcome.

Results: There were 178 CABSI episodes; average number of episodes/1,000 catheter days was 4.7. More CABSI episodes were recorded among patients with Hickman catheter than in patients with Port-A-Cath catheter (5.05 vs. 3.57/1,000 catheter days, P = 0.059). The CVC was removed due to BSI in 52/178 (29.2%) episodes. Overall, 243 pathogens were isolated (144 Gram-negative, 92 Gram-positive, and 7 Candida spp). More Enterobacteriaceae spp. were isolated in CABSI in patients with Hickman catheters than in patients with Port-A-Cath catheters (35/103, 34%, vs. 10/65, 15%, P = 0.008); more coagulase-negative staphylococci were isolated in patients with Port-A-Cath catheters than in patients with Hickman catheters (25/65, 38.5%, vs. 23/103, 22.3%, P = 0.02). No differences in pathogen distribution were found between CABSI recorded for jugular versus subclavian veins, open versus close inserted-CVC or for CVC requiring removal versus those treated conservatively. No fatalities directly related to CABSI were recorded.

Conclusions: CABSI rates were higher in patients with Hickman catheters compared with those with Port-A-Cath catheters; Gram-negative organisms were the dominant etiologic agents of CABSI; CABSI in patients with Hickman catheters had different etiologies compared with patients with Port-A-Cath catheters.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / etiology*
  • Bacteremia / prevention & control*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Blood / microbiology*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents