An antibiotic catheter lock containing gentamicin in sodium citrate can decrease the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infections in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD), researchers reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2012;59:102-107).

In a randomized study of 303 adult MHD patients, the rate of catheter-related bloodstream infections among those who received an antibiotic lock of gentamicin 320 μg/mL in 4% sodium citrate was 0.28 episodes per 1,000 catheter-days compared with 0.91 episodes/1,000 catheter-days among patients receiving the standard catheter lock containing heparin 1,000 U/mL.

The time to first episode of bacteremia was significantly delayed for the treatment group. The two groups had similar rates of tissue plasminogen activator use: 2.36 events/1,000 catheter days for the gentamicin/citrate patients versus 3.42 in the heparin group.

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