Hemodialysis catheter tip colonisation
Background: Eighty percent of hemodialysis patients start their dialysis with a tunneled hemodialysis catheter. Catheter related bacteremia is the second most common cause of death in these patients. Side holes near the tips of the tunneled cuffed central venous catheters are associated with accumulation of thrombus, which can lead to catheter dysfunction and, possibly, also to catheter-related infection. To assess the hypothesis that a catheter without side holes would be associated with less bacterial growth, this study compared the susceptibility of a side-hole-free catheter to accumulation of pathogenic bacteria at the catheter tip with that of two catheters which have side holes.
Methods: Eight tunneled cuffed double-lumen central venous catheters were inserted into both jugular veins of four sheep; one side-hole-free and one control catheter with side holes at the tip in each animal. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were then infused intravenously to cause bacteremia. Six hours later, the catheters were removed, the clots that accumulated in their tips were collected and cultured, and the bacterial colonies were counted after additional 12 h of incubation.
Results: Bacteria grew on culture plates seeded with the clot homogenate obtained from the tips of all catheters. The colony counts from the catheters with side holes at the tip exceeded the colony counts of bacteria accumulated in the tips of the side-hole-free hemodialysis catheters by one or more orders of magnitude, with a difference of at least two orders of magnitude observed in three of the four intra-animal comparisons.
Conclusions: In paired intra-animal post-inoculation comparison made in this limited study, fewer colony forming units of pathogenic bacteria accumulated at the tip of the side-hole-free catheters than at the tips of the catheters which have side holes. This may translate to a decreased rate of catheter-related blood stream infections in the side-hole-free catheters.
Tal MG, Yevzlin AS. Staphylococcus aureus accumulation at the tip of hemodialysis catheters with or without tip side holes in catheter related bloodstream infection in a large animal. J Vasc Access. 2021 Jul 2:11297298211012834. doi: 10.1177/11297298211012834. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34213384.