Central venous catheters in patients with AIDS

H E Goodman, R P Brettle, B Stevenson, B Hamilton, P Kalima, C L Leen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Central venous catheters (CVCs) for patients with AIDS are at risk of a number of complications including bacterial infections. A 6-year retrospective review was undertaken of the records of the 33 patients (42% infected by injection drug use (IDU)) who received intravenous therapy both in hospital and at home via CVCs. Twenty-eight per cent of 53 insertions suffered a complication, the commonest of which was a pneumothorax (8%). The post insertion complication rate was 0.98/100 catheter days (cd). Thrombotic occlusion (0.15/100 cd) was the commonest non septic event while sepsis was overall the commonest event (0.69/ 100 cd) of which half were considered serious (0.33/100 cd). The most frequently isolated organisms were Staphylococci spp. (71%). The median time to an exit site infection was 59 days and to serious catheter sepsis 86 days. Infection did not differ significantly with age, gender, transmission risk activity or catheter type although Portacaths had the lowest rate of infection (0.33/100 cd). The median survival of the 53 CVCs was 88 days although if the temporary catheters were excluded it was 118 days. Kaplan-Meier estimates of survival analysis revealed 55%, 32% and 19% of all the CVCs surviving 3, 6 and 12 months respectively. Our experience suggests that home intravenous therapy and previous IDU does not preclude the use of CVCs although further research is needed on reducing the infection-related complications of such therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-22
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of STD & AIDS
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Catheterization, Central Venous
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pneumothorax
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Streptococcal Infections
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thrombosis


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