• Ninety central venous catheters were inserted into 80 patients undergoing therapy for malignant neoplasms. Bacteremia and fungemia occurred in 18 of 41 treatment courses in patients with acute leukemia and in nine of 55 treatment courses in patients with solid tumors and lymphomas. Although gram-negative organisms accounted for nine (33%) cases of infection, the majority of disseminated infections were caused by gram-positive organisms (12 [45%] cases) or fungi (six [22%] cases). Central venous catheters may be helpful in the treatment of patients undergoing intensive therapy with cytotoxic agents, but the shift in spectrum of infection to gram-positive bacteremias in patients with these catheters compared with patients treated using peripheral vein access must be appreciated.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:1456-1459)