European Radiology

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 360–365 | Cite as

CT colonography and transient bacteraemia: implications for antibiotic prophylaxis

  • C. A. Ridge
  • M. R. Carter
  • L. P. Browne
  • R. Ryan
  • C. Hegarty
  • K. Schaffer
  • D. E. Malone



To determine the prevalence of transient bacteraemia after CT colonography (CTC).


Blood cultures were obtained at 5, 10 and 15 min after CTC from 100 consecutive consenting patients. Blood samples were cultured in both aerobic and anaerobic media and positive blood culture samples were analysed by a microbiologist.


Blood culture samples were positive for growth in sixteen patients. All positive blood culture samples were confirmed skin contaminants. There were no cases of significant bacteraemia. The estimated significant bacteraemia rate as a result of CTC is 0-3.7%, based on 95% confidence intervals around extreme results using Wilson’s score method.


American Heart Association and National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines advise that antibiotic prophylaxis before lower gastrointestinal endoscopy is not indicated in patients with at risk cardiac lesions (ARCL) as the risk of a transient bacteraemia leading to infective endocarditis is low. These data show that the prevalence of transient bacteraemia after CTC is also low. It follows that patients with ARCL do not require antibiotic prophylaxis before CTC.


Colonography Computed tomographic Bacteremia Endocarditis Antibiotic prophylaxis Colon 



The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge research grant assistance from the Faculty of Radiologists of Ireland, the support of the radiography, nursing and microbiology staff of St Vincent’s University Hospital in particular, Susan Collins, Hilary Hibaler and Valerie Prado and the valued statistical advice of Professor Leslie Daly of the Health Research Board funded Centre for Support and Training in Analysis and Research (CSTAR), University College Dublin.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Ridge
    • 1
  • M. R. Carter
    • 1
  • L. P. Browne
    • 2
  • R. Ryan
    • 1
  • C. Hegarty
    • 1
  • K. Schaffer
    • 3
  • D. E. Malone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologySt Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic ImagingTexas Children’s HospitalHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologySt Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland

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