Early ultrasonographic finding of septic thrombophlebitis is the main indicator of central venous catheter removal to reduce infection-related mortality in neutropenic patients with bloodstream infection.

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Early ultrasonographic finding of septic thrombophlebitis is the main indicator of central venous catheter removal to reduce infection-related mortality in neutropenic patients with bloodstream infection.

Ann Oncol. 2012 Aug;23(8):2122-8

Authors: Picardi M, Pagliuca S, Chiurazzi F, Iula D, Catania M, Rossano F, Pane F

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Septic thrombophlebitis increases patient morbidity and mortality following metastatic infections, pulmonary emboli, and/or septic shock. Central venous catheter (CVC) removal for occult septic thrombophlebitis challenges current strategy in neutropenic patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We prospectively evaluated infection-related mortality in 100 acute leukemia patients, with CVC-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) after chemotherapy, who systematically underwent ultrasonography to identify the need for catheter removal. Their infection-related mortality was compared with that of a historical cohort of 100 acute leukemia patients, with CRBSI after chemotherapy, managed with a clinically driven strategy. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy was administered in all patients analyzed.
RESULTS: In the prospective series, 30/100 patients required catheter removal for ultrasonography-detected septic thrombophlebitis after 1 median day from BSI onset; 70/100 patients without septic thrombophlebitis retained their CVC. In the historical cohort, 60/100 patients removed the catheter (persistent fever, 40 patients; persistent BSI, 10 patients; or clinically manifest septic thrombophlebitis, 10 patients) after 8 median days from BSI onset; 40/100 patients retained the CVC because they had not clinical findings of complicated infection. At 30 days median follow-up, one patient died for infection in the ultrasonography-assisted group versus 17 patients in the historical cohort (P<0.01). With the ultrasonography-driven strategy, early septic thrombophlebitis detection and prompt CVC removal decrease infection-related mortality, whereas clinically driven strategy leads to inappropriate number, reasons, and timeliness of CVC removal.
CONCLUSION: Ultrasonography is an easy imaging diagnostic tool enabling effective and safe management of patients with acute leukemia and CRBSI.

PMID: 22228450 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]