December 1997

A Prospective Randomized Trial of an Antibiotic-and Antiseptic-Coated Central Venous Catheter in the Prevention of Catheter-Related Infections

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Detroit Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Mich.

Arch Surg. 1997;132(12):1348-1351. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430360094017

Objective:  To test the efficacy of the ARROWgard (Arrow International Inc, Reading, Pa) central venous catheter (CVC) coated with silver sulfadiazine and chlorhexidine (A-CVC) in the prevention of CVC-related infections.

Design:  Prospective, randomized trial.

Setting:  A tertiary care medical center.

Patients and Intervention:  Two hundred eighty-two patients who required CVC placement were evaluated in this study. Patients were prospectively randomized to receive either a standard CVC (S-CVC) or the A-CVC. Only fresh-stick double- and triple-lumen catheters were studied.

Main Outcome Measures:  Patients were evaluated for catheter site inflammation, catheter site colonization, local catheter-related infection, and catheter-related septicemia.

Results:  The 2 groups were matched for age, percentage in the intensive care unit, percentage receiving total parenteral nutrition, percentage with triplelumen catheters, and duration of catheterization. Rates of catheter site inflammation in the 2 groups were similar (12% vs 10%, S-CVC group and A-CVC group, respectively). The A-CVC was associated with a significantly decreased catheter site colonization rate (49% vs 28%; 43% reduction; P<.001) and local catheter-related infection rate (22.4% vs 5.8%; 74% reduction; P<.001). Rates of catheter-related septicemia were reduced by 41% in the A-CVC group (6.4% vs 3.8%, S-CVC group and A-CVC group, respectively), but this was not statistically significant.

Conclusions:  Despite a marked decrease in catheter site colonization and catheter-related infection rates, the A-CVC did not significantly reduce the incidence of catheter-related septicemia. This may be due to a greater pathogenic dependence on catheter hub contamination rather than catheter site colonization or local catheter-related infection, or the relatively short (5.2 days) duration of catheterization in this study.Arch Surg. 1997;132:1348-1351