Article

Randomized Trial of Prevention of Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infection by Continuous Infusion of Low-Dose Unfractionated Heparin in Patients With Hematologic and Oncologic Disease

Centre National de Greffe de Moelle Osseuse, Bab Saadoun, Tunis, Tunisie.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 17.88). 12/2005; 23(31):7864-70. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2004.00.9787
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Infection is a serious complication of central venous catheters in immunocompromised patients. Catheter-related infection may be caused by fibrin deposition associated with catheters. Interventions designed to decrease fibrin deposition have the potential to reduce catheter-related infections. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of low-dose unfractionated heparin in preventing catheter-related bloodstream infection in patients with hemato-oncological disease.
This study was a randomized, controlled trial in which patients with nontunneled catheters were randomly assigned to receive either intravenous unfractionated heparin (continuous infusion of 100 U/kg per day) or 50 mL/day of normal saline solution as a continuous infusion (control group). Heparin was continued until the day of discharge. Catheter-related bloodstream infection was defined according to Infectious Disease Society of America guidelines.
Two hundred and eight patients were randomly assigned. Four patients were excluded after assignment. Ultimately, 204 patients were analyzed. Catheter-related bloodstream infection occurred in 6.8% (7 of 102 catheters) of those in the heparin group (2.5 events per 1,000 days) and in 16.6% (17 of 102 catheters) of those in the control group (6.4 events per 1,000 days) (P = .03). No other risk factors were found for the development of catheter-related bloodstream infection. Four and five patients experienced severe bleeding in the heparin and control groups, respectively (P = .2). We did not observe heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.
The use of continuous infusion of low-dose unfractionated heparin (100 U/kg per day) can be a practical and economical approach to the prevention of catheter-related bloodstream infection in patients with hemato-oncological disease.

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