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August 1990

Single-Lumen vs Double-Lumen Catheters for Total Parenteral Nutrition: A Randomized, Prospective Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Nutritional Support Team and Nursing and Surgical Services, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif (Ms Johnson and Dr Rypins), and the Department of Surgery, University of California, Irvine (Dr Rypins).

Arch Surg. 1990;125(8):990-992. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410200048007

• Multilumen catheters have been condemned for hyperalimentation based on reports of infection rates between 10% and 25% in uncontrolled studies. Because of the potential usefulness of multilumen catheters, we studied infection rates in a prospective, randomized trial. All patients requiring total parenteral nutrition were randomized to either single- or double-lumen catheters. Single-lumen catheters were used for dextrose—amino acids only. Medications or fat emulsions were given either by another central line or peripherally. Double-lumen catheters were used for dextrose—amino acid solutions, compatible medications, and fat emulsions. Catheters were cultured (48 single lumen and 53 double lumen) from 112 patients who successfully completed the study. No patients in either group developed catheter sepsis. We concluded that parenteral nutrition can be given as safely via double-lumen catheters as single-lumen catheters when strict protocols are established and followed.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:990-992)