Annals of Hematology

, Volume 87, Issue 11, pp 863–876 | Cite as

Central venous catheter-related infections in hematology and oncology

Guidelines of the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology (DGHO)
  • Hans-Heinrich WolfEmail author
  • Malte Leithäuser
  • Georg Maschmeyer
  • Hans Salwender
  • Ulrike Klein
  • Iris Chaberny
  • Florian Weissinger
  • Dieter Buchheidt
  • Markus Ruhnke
  • Gerlinde Egerer
  • Oliver Cornely
  • Gerd Fätkenheuer
  • Sabine Mousset
Review Article


Catheter-related infections (CRI) cause considerable morbidity in hospitalized patients. The incidence does not seem to be higher in neutropenic patients than in nonneutropenic patients. Gram-positive bacteria (coagulase-negative staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus) are the pathogens most frequently cultured, followed by Candida species. Positive blood cultures are the cornerstone in the diagnosis of CRIs, while local signs of infection are not necessarily present. Blood cultures should be taken from peripheral blood and from the venous catheter. A shorter time to positivity of catheter blood cultures as compared with peripheral blood cultures supports the diagnosis of a CRI. In many cases, a definite diagnosis requires catheter removal and microbiological analysis. The role plate method with semiquantitative cultures has been established as standard in most laboratories. Antimicrobial treatment of CRI should be directed by the in vitro susceptibility of the isolated pathogen. Primary removal of the catheter is mandatory in S. aureus and Candida infections, as well as in case of tunnel or pocket infections. Future studies will elucidate whether the rate of CRI in neutropenic patients may be reduced by catheters impregnated with antimicrobial agents.


Catheter-related infections Guidelines Neutropenia Antimicrobial treatment Infection prophylaxis Biofilm 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Heinrich Wolf
    • 1
    Email author
  • Malte Leithäuser
    • 2
  • Georg Maschmeyer
    • 3
  • Hans Salwender
    • 4
  • Ulrike Klein
    • 5
  • Iris Chaberny
    • 6
  • Florian Weissinger
    • 7
  • Dieter Buchheidt
    • 8
  • Markus Ruhnke
    • 9
  • Gerlinde Egerer
    • 5
  • Oliver Cornely
    • 10
  • Gerd Fätkenheuer
    • 10
  • Sabine Mousset
    • 11
  1. 1.Klinik für Innere Medizin IV, Onkologie, Hämatologie und HämostaseologieMartin-Luther-Universität HalleHalleGermany
  2. 2.Abteilung für Hämatologie und Onkologie, Klinik für Innere MedizinUniversität RostockRostockGermany
  3. 3.Medizinische Klinik, Hämatologie/OnkologieKlinikum Ernst-von-BergmannPotsdamGermany
  4. 4.Abt. Hämatologie und Internistische OnkologieAsklepios Klinik Hamburg AltonaHamburgGermany
  5. 5.Klinik für Innere Medizin V, Hämatologie, Onkologie und RheumatologieRuprecht-Karls-Universität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  6. 6.Medizinische Mikrobiologie und KrankenhausepidemiologieMedizinische Hochschule HannoverHannoverGermany
  7. 7.Department of Hematology, Oncology, Palliative CareEvangelisches KrankenhausBielefeldGermany
  8. 8.Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg-MannheimIII. Medizinische KlinikMannheimGermany
  9. 9.Medizinische Klinik mit Schwerpunkt Hämatologie und OnkologieCharité Campus Virchow-Klinikum MitteBerlinGermany
  10. 10.Klinik I für Innere MedizinKlinikum der Universität zu KölnCologneGermany
  11. 11.Medizinische Klinik IIIJohann-Wolfgang-Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurt/MGermany

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