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To reduce the incidence of CRBSI, prophylactic ethanol lock therapy (ELT) was initiated” Kawano et al (2016).


PURPOSE: Children with intestinal failure (IF) requiring central venous catheters (CVCs) often experience frequent catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs), which is a serious and life-threatening complication. To reduce the incidence of CRBSI, prophylactic ethanol lock therapy (ELT) was initiated.

METHODS: Patients with IF received home parenteral nutrition via a silicone tunneled CVC. All of them had received therapeutic ELT from January 2009 (first period) and prophylactic ELT from December 2012 (second period). Prophylactic ELT refers to ethanol lock for 2 h during the monthly hospital visit. We compared the CRBSI rate and number of CVC replacements between both periods.

RESULTS: Four patients received 19 CVCs for a total of 5623 catheter days. In the first period, there were 12 CRBSIs in 1823 catheter days (rate 6.77 per 1000 catheter days). In the second period, there were 9 CRBSIs in 3800 catheter days (rate 3.13 per 1000 catheter days). Overall, the rate of CVC replacement decreased from 4.92 to 1.72 per 1000 catheter days (p = 0.04). No adverse reactions were experienced during ethanol instillation.

CONCLUSION: Monthly prophylactic ELT for IF patients is considered to be a safe and effective modality for reducing the replacement of CVCs due to CRBSIs.


Kawano, T., Kaji, T., Onishi, S., Yamada, K., Yamada, W., Nakame, K., Mukai, M. and Ieiri, S. (2016) Efficacy of ethanol locks to reduce the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infections for home parenteral nutrition pediatric patients: comparison of therapeutic treatment with prophylactic treatment. Pediatric Surgery International. July 26th. .

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