The efficacy of taurolidine containing lock solutions for the prevention of central-venous-catheter-related bloodstream infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Hosp Infect. 2022 May:123:143-155. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2021.10.022. Epub 2021 Nov 9.


The incidence of central venous catheter (CVC)-related bloodstream infections is high in patients requiring a long-term CVC. Therefore, infection prevention is of the utmost importance. The aim of this study was to provide an updated overview of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy of taurolidine containing lock solutions (TL) to other lock solutions for the prevention of CVC-related bloodstream infections in all patient populations. On 15th February 2021, PubMed, Embase and The Cochrane Library were searched for RCTs comparing the efficacy of TLs for the prevention of CVC-related bloodstream infections with other lock solutions. Exclusion criteria were non-RCTs, studies describing <10 patients and studies using TLs as treatment. Risk of bias was evaluated using the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2 tool. A random effects model was used to pool individual study incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Subgroup analyses were performed based on the following factors: CVC indication, comparator lock and bacterial isolates cultured. A total of 14 articles were included in the qualitative synthesis describing 1219 haemodialysis, total parenteral nutrition and oncology patients. The pooled IRR estimated for all patient groups together (nine studies; 918 patients) was 0.30 (95% confidence interval 0.19-0.46), favouring the TLs. Adverse events (10 studies; 867 patients) were mild and scarce. The quality of the evidence was limited due to a high risk of bias and indirectness of evidence. The use of TLs might be promising for the prevention of CVC-related bloodstream infections. Large-scale RCTs are needed to draw firm conclusions on the efficacy of TLs.

Keywords: Bloodstream infections; Central venous catheter; Lock; Taurolidine.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheter-Related Infections* / epidemiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections* / microbiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections* / prevention & control
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / adverse effects
  • Central Venous Catheters* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sepsis* / etiology
  • Taurine / analogs & derivatives
  • Thiadiazines* / therapeutic use


  • Thiadiazines
  • Taurine
  • taurolidine