Individual versus pooled multiple-lumen blood cultures for CLABSI diagnosis

Herrera-Guerra AS, Garza-González E, Martínez-Resendez MF, Llaca-Díaz JM, Camacho-Ortiz A. Individual versus pooled multiple-lumen blood cultures for the diagnosis of intravascular catheter-related infections. American Journal of Infection Control. 2015.

Background: The current gold standard method for diagnosis of central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) requires central venous catheter removal and a positive culture of the CVC tip with a positive peripheral blood culture.
Study design: Comparative study.
Methods: We compared individual blood cultures from each catheter lumen versus a pooled-blood culture bottle containing blood samples from every catheter lumen for the diagnosis of CLABSI.
Results: The pooled blood culture had the same sensitivity as the individually cultured central venous catheter lumens (85%) to detect CLABSI. A high correlation was found when we compared the pooled culture with any positive lumen result (κ = 0.98) but not when compared with any single lumen.
Conclusions: Sampling multiple lumens from a central line and incubating them in the same blood culture bottle is as effective as individual blood cultures for the diagnosis of colonization or CLABSI and is a better choice than sampling only 1 lumen when sending 3 different blood culture bottles is not possible.

published on IV Team 19 Apr 2015

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