Ethanol lock therapy in reducing CRBSI in home parenteral nutrition patients


Intravenous literature: John, B.K., Khan, M.A., Speerhas, R., Rhoda, K., Hamilton, C., Dechicco, R., Lopez, R., Steiger, E. and Kirby, D.F. (2011) Ethanol Lock Therapy in Reducing Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections in Adult Home Parenteral Nutrition Patients: Results of a Retrospective Study. JPEN: Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Dec 28. .


BACKGROUND: Equivocal data demonstrate the efficacy of ethanol lock therapy (ELT) in preventing catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) in home parenteral nutrition (HPN) patients, but it is not currently a standard of practice. The objective of this study is to investigate the efficacy of ELT in reducing the incidence of CRBSIs in HPN patients.

METHODS: Medical records from the Cleveland Clinic database of adult HPN patients with CRBSIs placed on prophylactic ELT were retrospectively studied from January 2006 to August 2009 (n = 31). Outcomes were compared pre- and post-ELT with the patients serving as their own controls. Medical-grade (70%) ethanol was instilled daily into each lumen of the central venous catheter (CVC) between PN infusion cycles. Comparative analysis was performed using McNemar’s test and Wilcoxon ranked tests.

RESULTS: Thirty-one patients had 273 CRBSI-related admissions prior to ELT in comparison to 47 CRBSI-related admissions post-ELT. Adjusted data for only tunneled CVC pre- and post-ELT showed a similar reduction of CRBSI-related admissions from 10.1 to 2.9 per 1000 catheter days (P < .001). There was also a statistically significant reduction in culture-positive CRBSIs and number of catheters changed pre- and post-ELT. There were no reported side effects or complications in any patient undergoing ELT.

CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the efficacy and safety of ELT in reducing CRBSI-related admissions in HPN patients and potentially helps reduce the burden of CRBSI-related healthcare costs. This novel technique shows great promise as a standard prophylaxis for CRBSI in HPN patients and must be incorporated in routine practice.

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