Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 837-843

First online:

Prevention of intravascular catheter-related infection with newer chlorhexidine-silver sulfadiazine-coated catheters: a randomized controlled trial

  • Christian Brun-BuissonAffiliated withRéanimation Médicale, Hôpital Henri Mondor (AP-HP) Email author 
  • , Françoise DoyonAffiliated withUnité Inserm U 521, Institut Gustave Roussy
  • , Jean-Pierre SolletAffiliated withRéanimation Polyvalente, Hôpital Victor Dupouy
  • , Jean-François CochardAffiliated withRéanimation Chirurgicale, Hôpital Pellegrin
  • , Yves CohenAffiliated withRéanimation Polyvalente, Hôpital Avicenne
  • , Gérard NitenbergAffiliated withRéanimation Polyvalente, Institut Gustave Roussy

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The indication of antiseptic-coated catheters remains debated.


To test the ability of the new generation of chlorhexidine-silver and sulfadiazine-coated catheters, with enhanced antiseptic coating, to reduce the risk of central venous catheter (CVC)-related infection in ICU patients.


Multicentre randomized double-blind trial.

Patients and setting

A total of 397 patients from 14 ICUs of university hospitals in France.


Patients were randomized to receive an antiseptic-coated catheter (ACC) or a standard non-coated catheter (NCC).


Incidence of CVC-related infection.


Of 367 patients having a successful catheter insertion, 363 were analysed (175 NCC and 188 ACC). Patients had one (NCC=162, ACC=180) or more (NCC=13, ACC=11) CVC inserted. The two groups were similar for insertion site [subclavian (64 vs 69)] or jugular (36 vs 31%)], and type of catheters (single-lumen 18 vs 18%; double-lumen 82 vs 82%), and mean (median) duration of catheterisation [12.0±11.7 (9) vs 10.5±8.8 (8) days in the NCC and ACC groups, respectively]. Significant colonisation of the catheter occurred in 23 (13.1%) and 7 (3.7%) patients, respectively, in the NCC and ACC groups (11 vs 3.6 per 1000 catheter-days; p=0.01); CVC-related infection (bloodstream infection) occurred in 10 (5) and 4 (3) patients in the NCC and CC groups, respectively (5.2 vs 2 per 1000 catheter days; p=0.10).


In the context of a low baseline infection rate, ACC were associated with a significant reduction of catheter colonisation and a trend to reduction of infection episodes, but not of bloodstream infection.


Intensive care Catheter-associated infection Bacteraemia Prevention Antiseptics