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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2018

Factors associated with recurrence and mortality in central line-associated bloodstream infections: a retrospective cohort study

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2018
Luis E Huerta, George E Nelson, Thomas G Stewart, Todd W Rice
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-018-2206-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A comment to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-018-2249-9.



Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are associated with increased mortality, hospital length of stay, and cost. Antimicrobial treatment guidelines for CLABSIs are primarily based on expert opinion. We hypothesized that shorter antimicrobial treatment duration is associated with decreased 60-day recurrence-free survival.


A retrospective cohort study of all adults with hospital-acquired CLABSIs (HA-CLABSIs) over 5 years at a single tertiary care academic hospital was performed. The time from the end of effective antimicrobial treatment until recurrence of infection or mortality, censored at 60 days after the end of antimicrobial treatment, represented the primary outcome. Effective antimicrobial treatment was defined as the administration of at least one antimicrobial to which the causative organism was sensitive.


A total of 366 cases met eligibility criteria. The median Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score was 6 (interquartile range (IQR) 4–8). Patients were treated for a median of 15 (IQR 10–20) days with effective antimicrobials. The incidence of 60-day mortality or recurrence after completion of the antimicrobial course was 22.1% (81 patients). In a Cox proportional-hazards model, antimicrobial treatment duration (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.35; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.26–0.48), SOFA score (HR = 1.16; 95% CI 1.09–1.22), and age (HR = 1.021; 95% CI = 1.004–1.037) were associated with mortality or recurrence. The effect of antimicrobial treatment duration appeared to plateau after 15 days.


Longer antimicrobial treatment duration in patients with HA-CLABSIs is associated with improved recurrence-free survival during the first 60 days after infection. This effect appears to plateau after 15 days of treatment. Prospective studies are needed to definitively determine the optimal antimicrobial treatment duration for CLABSIs.
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