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OBJECTIVE: This study had 2 objectives: (1) to describe the epidemiology of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who have no access to scheduled dialysis and (2) to evaluate whether a positive culture of the heparin-lock solution is associated with subsequent development of bacteremia.

DESIGN Retrospective observational cohort design for objective 1; and prospective cohort design for objective 2.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The study was conducted in a 770-bed public academic tertiary hospital in Dallas, Texas. The participants were patients with ESRD undergoing scheduled or emergent hemodialysis.

METHODS: We reviewed the records of 147 patients who received hemodialysis between January 2011 and May 2011 and evaluated the rate of CRBSI in the previous 5 years. For the prospective study, we cultured the catheter heparin-lock solution in 62 consecutive patients between June 2012 and August 2012 and evaluated the incidence of CRBSI at 6 months. RESULTS Of the 147 patients on emergent hemodialysis, 125 had a tunneled catheter, with a CRBSI rate of 2.61 per 1,000 catheter days. The predominant organisms were Gram-negative rods (GNR). In the prospective study, we found that the dialysis catheter was colonized more frequently in patients on emergent hemodialysis than in those on scheduled hemodialysis. Colonization with GNR or Staphylococcus aureus was associated with subsequent CRBSI at 6 months follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients undergoing emergent hemodialysis via tunneled catheter are predisposed to Gram-negative CRBSI. Culturing the heparin-lock solution may predict subsequent episodes of CRBSI if it shows colonization with GNR or Staphylococcus aureus. Prevention approaches in this population need to be studied further.


Rojas-Moreno, C.A., Spiegel, D., Yalamanchili, V., Kuo, E., Quinones, H., Sreeramoju, P.V. and Luby, J.P. (2015) Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections in Patients on Emergent Hemodialysis. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. November 26th. .

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