Antibiotic lock therapy (ALT) for the prevention and treatment of catheter-related bloodstream infections is a simple strategy in theory, yet its real-world application may be delayed or avoided due to technical questions and/or logistical challenges. This review focuses on these latter aspects of ALT, including preparation information for a variety of antibiotic lock solutions (ie, aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, fluoroquinolones, folate antagonists, glycopeptides, glycylcyclines, lipopeptides, oxazolidinones, polymyxins, and tetracyclines) and common clinical issues surrounding ALT administration. Detailed data regarding concentrations, additives, stability/compatibility, and dwell times are summarized. Logistical challenges such as lock preparation procedures, use of additives (eg, heparin, citrate, or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), timing of initiation and therapy duration, optimal dwell time and catheter accessibility, and risks of ALT are also described. Development of local protocols is recommended in order to avoid these potential barriers and encourage utilization of ALT where appropriate.
Keywords: antibiotic lock; bacteremia; biofilm; catheter-related bloodstream infection.