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Impact of CHG bathing on BSI rates in HCT patients

"Benefits of CHG bathing were most pronounced with >75% daily usage, and there were no adverse effects attributable to CHG" Giri et al (2021).


Bloodstream infections (BSIs) occur in 20% to 45% of inpatient autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) patients. Daily bathing with the antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) has been shown to reduce the incidence of BSIs in critically ill patients, although very few studies include HCT patients or have evaluated the impact of compliance on effectiveness. We conducted a prospective cohort study with historical controls to assess the impact of CHG bathing on the rate of BSIs and gut microbiota composition among adults undergoing inpatient HCT at the Duke University Medical Center. We present 1 year of data without CHG bathing (2016) and 2 years of data when CHG was used on the HCT unit (2017 and 2018). Because not all patients adhered to CHG, patients were grouped into four categories by rate of daily CHG usage: high (>75%), medium (50% to 75%), low (1% to 49%), and none (0%). Among 192 patients, univariate trend analysis demonstrated that increased CHG usage was associated with decreased incidence of clinically significant BSI, defined as any BSI requiring treatment by the medical team (high, 8% BSI; medium, 15.2%; low, 15.6%; no CHG, 30.3%; P = .003), laboratory-confirmed BSI (LCBI; P = .03), central line-associated BSI (P = .04), and mucosal barrier injury LCBI (MBI-LCBI; P = .002). Multivariate analysis confirmed a significant effect of CHG bathing on clinically significant BSI (P = .023) and MBI-LCBI (P = .007), without consistently impacting gut microbial diversity. Benefits of CHG bathing were most pronounced with >75% daily usage, and there were no adverse effects attributable to CHG. Adherence to daily CHG bathing significantly decreases the rate of bloodstream infection following HCT.


Giri VK, Kegerreis KG, Ren Y, Bohannon LM, Lobaugh-Jin E, Messina JA, Matthews A, Mowery YM, Sito E, Lassiter M, Saullo JL, Jung SH, Ma L, Greenberg M, Andermann TM, van den Brink MRM, Peled JU, Gomes ALC, Choi T, Gasparetto CJ, Horwitz ME, Long GD, Lopez RD, Rizzieri DA, Sarantopoulos S, Chao NJ, Allen DH, Sung AD. Chlorhexidine Gluconate Bathing Reduces the Incidence of Bloodstream Infections in Adults Undergoing Inpatient Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Transplant Cell Ther. 2021 Mar;27(3):262.e1-262.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.jtct.2021.01.004. Epub 2021 Jan 7. PMID: 33781532; PMCID: PMC8010223.