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Quantitative Culture of Intravenous Catheters and Other Intravascular Inserts

Dennis J. Cleri, Michael L. Corrado and Stephen J. Seligman
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 141, No. 6 (Jun., 1980), pp. 781-786
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30110998
Page Count: 6
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Quantitative Culture of Intravenous Catheters and Other Intravascular Inserts
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Abstract

Quantitative cultures were done on 149 intravenous catheters and 40 additional intravascular inserts. Intradermal and intravascular segments of the insert were cultured separately. The inserts were immersed in broth and flushed. The number of colony-forming units (cfu) per insert was estimated by surface culture of serial dilution of the broth. Nonquantitative culture of undiluted broth was also done. Since all inserts associated with bacteremia had at least $10^{3}$ cfu, inserts with $< 10^{3}$ cfu were considered infected. Staphylococcus epidermidis was more likely than more virulent organisms to colonize an insert without causing bacteremia. The inserts in one bacteremic patient were infected from a distant bloodstream focus; however, in the majority of patients, quantitative intradermal cultures suggested that the insertion site was the portal of entry. In bacteremic patients, either a positive quantitative or a nonquantitative culture identified an infected insert. However, only 33% of positive nonquantitative insert cultures from nonbacteremic patients were confirmed by quantitative insert culture.

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