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“This review aims to discuss prevention, diagnosis criteria and management of CVC-related infections in HD patients” Böhlke et al (2015).


Böhlke, M., Uliano, G. and Barcellos, F.C. (2015) Hemodialysis catheter-related infection: prophylaxis, diagnosis and treatment. The Journal of Vascular Access April 20th. .


PURPOSE: Infectious complications associated with central venous catheters (CVCs) are a major source of morbidity and mortality among hemodialysis (HD) patients. This review aims to discuss prevention, diagnosis criteria and management of CVC-related infections in HD patients.

METHODS: We searched Medline for articles published in the last 10 years, with the keywords “catheter,” “hemodialysis,” “infection,” “treatment,” “diagnosis,” “prophylaxis” and “adults.” Only English language articles were reviewed. We reviewed prophylaxis and surveillance protocols, diagnosis criteria, including new molecular tools, and the management of catheter-related infections, including antibiotic regimen, empiric and according to causal agents, lock therapy, catheter salvage or removal choice and treatment of complications.

RESULTS: To prevent infectious complications, first of all we need to avoid using catheters. If we need CVC, adoption of prophylaxis and surveillance protocols, and antibiotic ointment at the exit site reduce infectious complications. The diagnosis of CVC-related infections should be made with drainage and/or blood cultures. Empiric systemic antibiotics should cover Gram-positive and -negative microorganisms, and final regimen should be based on culture results. In selected cases, salvage of site, by CVC exchange over wire, or salvage of catheter, using antibiotic lock, under the cover of systemic antibiotics, could be attempted.

CONCLUSIONS: The best approach to prevent CVC-related infection would be to avoid the use of CVC. However, in patients for whom it is impossible, the adoption of adequate prophylaxis protocols, early diagnosis and effective treatment of infectious complications are essential to improve outcomes.

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