Prospective Cohort Study of the Outcome of and Risk Factors for Intravascular Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections in Children With Intestinal Failure

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Children with intestinal failure (IF) have frequent catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs). The purpose of this study was to prospectively study the clinical course of CRBSIs and to seek modifiable risk factors for CRBSIs in children with IF.

Materials and Methods:

Children with IF were enrolled prospectively and data on potential risk factors collected monthly. Additional data were collected when they had CRBSIs.


Sixteen children were enrolled, yielding 223 months of data. The rate of CRBSIs was 4.6 per 1000 catheter days. The most consistent symptom at onset of CRBSI was fever (28 of 32 cases). Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) was the only laboratory abnormality that was consistently associated with the onset of CRBSI (elevated in 15 of the 18 cases where it was measured). Combining all episodes in the cases that relapsed, the catheter salvage rate was 17 of 29 (59%), including 4 of 11 polymicrobial CRBSIs. Risk factors for CRBSI included double lumen tunneled central venous catheter (CVC), jugular placement of CVC, higher doses of intralipid, and having <50 cm small bowel postresection.


The diagnosis of CRBSI should be questioned in the absence of fever and/or elevated CRP. Salvage of catheters should be attempted with all bacterial CRBSIs, assuming that the child is stable since the CVC can be retained in the majority of cases.

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