Risk determinants for catheter-associated blood stream infections in children and young adults with cancer. Academic Article uri icon


  • Catheter-associated blood stream infections (CABSI) are frequent complications encountered with cancer treatment. In order to understand which factors might predispose to CABSIs in children and young adults, we evaluated risk for infection in association with tumor type, catheter type, and setting of occurrence.All pediatric oncology patients having a central venous catheter (CVC) with a tunneled external (TE) or totally implantable design (TID) were prospectively followed for the occurrence of a CABSI for 12 months. CABSIs were defined in accordance with the guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control, and were quantified as the number of occurrences per 1,000 device days. Rates of CABSIs were stratified by tumor histology, type of catheter design, and setting of occurrence. Statistical comparisons were made using the Mantel-Haenzel statistic and the Cox proportional hazard model.A total of 58 CABSIs were identified in 139 patients over a period of 35,935 CVC days. The overall CABSI rate was 1.6 infections per 1,000 CVC days (95% CI 1.2, 2.1). Stratified analysis demonstrated increased risk for CABSIs in hospitalized patients having TEs, and while patients with solid tumors were also at higher risk; this association was not supported by the Cox proportional hazard model.While our baseline CABSI rate was comparatively lower than for other institutions, subset analyses identified that hospitalized cancer patients having TEs are at the highest risk for developing CABSIs. Our findings may help to guide improved methods of anticipating and controlling infections in immunocompromised patients.(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008