Clinical Predictors of Infection of Central Venous Catheters Used for Total Parenteral Nutrition

Carl W. Armstrong, C. Glen Mayhall, Kathy B. Miller, Heber H. Newsome, Harvey J. Sugerman, Harry P. Dalton, Gaye O. Hall, Sally Hunsberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


To identify predictors of infection in catheters used for total parenteral nutrition (TPN), clinical and microbiological data were prospectively collected on 169 catheter systems (88 patients). Based on semiquantitative catheter cultures, infection was associated with a positive insertion site skin culture taken close to the time of catheter removal (relative risk [RR] = 4.50), especially one yielding 250 colonies of an organism other than coagulase-negative staphylococci. Infection was also associated with erythema at the insertion site greater than 4 mm in diameter (RR = 2.93). In a subset of 67 catheters for which blood cultures were obtained, infection was also associated with a positive peripheral venous blood culture (RR = 5.90) and a positive central venous blood culture obtained through the catheter (RR = 5.44). Based on a logistic regression model, periodic cultures of the insertion site should be useful in evaluating subsequent fever in stable patients with indwelling central venous catheters. Another source of fever is likely if.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalInfection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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