Nontunneled central venous catheters in patients with AIDS are associated with a low infection rate

Daniel J. Skiest, Patti Grant, Philip Keiser

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14 Scopus citations


Patients with AIDS frequently require long-term central venous access devices for intravenous (IV) therapy. We reviewed the medical records of all HIV-infected patients at a single large urban hospital who had a central venous catheter (CVC) placed during a 1-year period to assess the overall complication rate, infection rate, and the microbiology of infectious complications. One hundred fifty-six catheters were inserted in 87 patients for 11,041 catheter days. These catheters (142 of 156) were primarily nontunneled, nonimplantable CVCs (NT-CVCs), and analyses were limited to these. Of these catheters, 79% were primarily used to treat disease caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV). The complication rate for the NT-CVCs was 5.1/1000 catheter days with a mean time to any complication of 106 days. The total infection rate of the NT-CVCs was 2.8/1000 catheter days, and the serious infection rate (bacteremia) for the NT-CVCs was 1.4/1000 catheter days. The mean time to a serious infection was 407 days. None of the following parameters was associated with an increased infection rate: HIV risk factor, indication for catheter, medications received via catheter, number of catheter ports, anatomic site of catheter insertion, or the presence of neutropenia. NT-CVCs were associated with low complication and infection rates that were comparable with historical rates seen in AIDS patients with tunneled and totally implantable central venous access devices. NT-CVCs may be a safe, cost-effective alternative to other central venous access devices in patients with HIV/AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Catheter infection
  • Central venous catheter
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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