Catheter complications in AIDS patients treated for cytomegalovirus retinitis

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To describe the complications of central venous catheter use for intravenous therapy of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in patients with AIDS.


Retrospective review of 388 patients with AIDS and CMV retinitis treated with intravenous medications through an indwelling catheter.


The catheter complication rate was 1.2 complications per person-year (0.33 complications per 100 catheter-days). Current injecting drug use increased the risk of infectious complications [hazard ratio (HR), 1.73; P = 0.04] whereas former use did not (HR, 0.96; P = 0.88). Subdermal port catheters increased the risk of bacteremia (HR, 1.78; P = 0.05). Mortality for the first complication was 5.8%. Forty percent of patients required catheter removal, and 86.8% of these patients required reinsertion of another catheter.


Catheter complications are a substantial problem in patients with CMV retinitis treated with daily intravenous therapy.

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