Predictors and outcome of catheter-related bacteremia in children on chronic hemodialysis

Ali Mirza Onder, Jayanthi Chandar, Sheila Coakley, Carolyn Abitbol, Brenda Montane, Gaston Zilleruelo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Tunneled central venous catheters are often used in children on chronic hemodialysis. This study was done to evaluate the spectrum of catheter-related bacteremia (CRB) and to determine predictors of recurrent CRB in children on hemodialysis. Chart review was performed in 59 children from a pediatric dialysis unit with chronic, tunneled, cuffed hemodialysis catheters between January 1999 and December 2003. CRB was diagnosed in 48 of 59 (81%) patients. The incidence of CRB was 4.8/1,000 catheter days. Overall catheter survival (290±216 days) was significantly longer than infection-free catheter survival (210±167 days, p<0.05). Organisms isolated were gram-positive in 67%, gram-negative in 14%, and polymicrobial in 19%. Systemic antibiotics cleared CRB in 34% and an additional 23% cleared with the inclusion of antibiotic-heparin locks; 43% required catheter exchange. There was a significant likelihood of early catheter exchange with polymicrobial CRB (p<0.01). Catheter loss occurred from infection in 63%. Risk factors for CRB included young age (<10 years) and presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Patients with >2 initial positive blood cultures (p<0.0001) had a significantly higher rate of recurrence after 6 weeks of initial treatment. In conclusion, CRB remains a major determinant of catheter loss. However, overall catheter survival is longer than infection-free catheter survival, suggesting that systemic antibiotics with antibiotic-heparin locks should be the initial step in the management of CRB and this approach may salvage some catheters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1452-1458
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006


  • Catheter survival
  • Catheter-related bacteremia
  • Hemodialysis in children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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