Novel approach using antimicrobial catheters to improve the management of central line-associated bloodstream infections in cancer patients

Cancer. 2011 Jun 1;117(11):2551-8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25807. Epub 2010 Dec 14.


Background: Central venous catheter (CVC) removal has often been recommended for the treatment of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). However, CVC removal is not always practical in patients with cancer, and changing CVCs with noncoated CVCs over guidewire may result in cross-infection of the new CVC. Therefore, the current matched retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of exchanging infected CVCs for minocycline- and rifampin (MR)-coated CVCs in cancer patients with CLABSIs.

Methods: The authors identified all cancer patients with CLABSIs who had undergone either CVC exchange with MR-coated CVCs or CVC removal at the study institution. All patients were treated with appropriate systemic antibiotics. The exchange group was matched in a 1:2 ratio with the removal group by organism, underlying disease, and neutropenia. The demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcome were compared. Overall response was defined as the resolution of clinical signs and symptoms and eradication of bacteremia within 72 hours after CVC exchange or removal, without disease recurrence or infection-related death.

Results: A total of 120 cancer patients were included (40 in the exchange group and 80 in the removal group). Overall response rates were 95% in the exchange group and 76% in the removal group (P = .011). No disease recurrences or infection-related deaths occurred in the exchange group; 8 disease recurrences or deaths (11%) occurred in the removal group (P = .05). Patients in the exchange group also experienced lower rates of mechanical failure (3% vs 15%; P = .049).

Conclusions: Exchanging CVCs for MR-coated CVCs in cancer patients with CLABSIs may improve the overall response rate and decrease the risk of mechanical failure, disease recurrence, and infection-related mortality.

Keywords: antimicrobial catheters; bacteremia; catheter exchange; minocycline; rifampin.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy*
  • Bacteremia / etiology*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Infective Agents