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Skoutelis Athanasios T.; Murphy, Robert L.; MacDonell, Keith B.; VonRoenn, Jamie H.; Sterkel, Christine D.; Phair, John P.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: April 1990
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Indwelling central venous catheters are increasingly useful in the clinical management of patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). To evaluate the risk of catheter infection in this group of patients, we reviewed the records of 299 patients with Hickman and Port-a-cath catheters. Patients were stratified into three groups: (a) AIDS (n = 54), (b) non-AIDS immunodeficiencies (n = 102), and (c) immunocompetent n = 98). The rate of infection per 1,000 catheter days was 2.02, 0.41 (p < 0.002), and 0.23 (p < 0.002), respectively. Gram-positive cocci were the predominant isolate. Previous catheter infection and advanced AIDS (as determined by positive p24 antigen and low CD4+ number) were associated with increased risk of infection. Exit, tunnel, and fungal infections required catheter removal. The risk of infection and management were similar in Hickman and Port-a-cath catheters. The mortality was extremely low in all groups. However, the risk of infection associated with indwelling catheters was significantly higher in AIDS patients compared to patients with other immunodeficiencies.

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