Central Venous Catheter Management in High-risk Children With Bloodstream Infections

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2020 Jan;39(1):17-22. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002495.


Background: National guidelines recommend removal of central venous catheters (CVCs) for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and fungi. Data regarding guideline compliance and rates of associated treatment failures in pediatric patients with attempted CVC salvage are limited.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of high-risk children (age ≤ 21 years) hospitalized from 1/2009 to 12/2015 with a long-term CVC and CLABSI due to S. aureus, Pseudomonas spp., and Candida spp. Enterococcus spp. was included given differing management recommendations between short and long-term CVCs. Compliance with national guideline recommendations, as well as treatment failures including infection relapse, recurrence, and death were evaluated in relation to CVC retention or removal. Multivariate logistic regression modeling was performed to account for confounders impacting treatment failure.

Results: Fifty-three children had 108 CLABSI episodes requiring 84 hospitalizations. CVCs were removed in 36 (33%) CLABSI episodes per guideline recommendations. Optimal antimicrobial management, including targeted agent and adequate duration was provided in 54 (50%) of 106 treated episodes; no significant difference in treatment failure rates were noted compared with episodes with suboptimal management. The treatment failure rate was significantly higher in patients with CVC retention compared those with CVC removal within 7 days of the first positive blood culture (31% vs. 6%, P = 0.003).

Conclusions: Despite pathogen-specific guideline recommendations for CVC removal, compliance with national guidelines was poor. CVC salvage was attempted in the majority of CLABSI episodes in our cohort and resulted in a significantly higher treatment failure rate.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods
  • Central Venous Catheters / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sepsis / epidemiology*
  • Sepsis / etiology*
  • Sepsis / therapy
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Infective Agents