Transient bacteremia induced by dental cleaning is not associated with infection of central venous catheters in patients with cancer

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Objective.The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of bacteremia resulting from dental cleaning and of subsequent established bloodstream infection (BSI) caused by oral microorganisms in patients with cancer with central venous catheters (CVCs).Study Design.Twenty-six patients with cancer with CVCs and absolute neutrophil count over 1000 cells/μL received dental cleaning without antibiotic prophylaxis. Periodontal status was assessed at baseline by using the Periodontal Screening and Recording (PSR) score. Blood cultures were drawn via the CVCs at baseline, 20 minutes into cleaning, and 30 minutes and 24 hours after cleaning. Medical records were monitored for 6 months.Results.Baseline blood culture results were negative in 25 patients. Nine of 25 patients (36%) had positive blood culture 20 minutes into cleaning, all associated with at least 1 microorganism typically found in the mouth. These 9 patients had significantly higher mean PSR score (3.22) compared with the other 16 (2.56; P = .035). These expected bacteremias did not persist, with blood culture results (0/25) at 30 minutes and 24 hours after cleaning showing no positivity (P = .001). There were no cases of CVC-related infection or BSI attributable to dental cleaning.Conclusions.Bacteremia resulting from dental cleaning is transient and unlikely to cause CVC-related infection or BSI in patients with absolute neutrophil count greater than 1000 cells/μL.

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