NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Using catheters impregnated with rifampicin-miconazole instead of standard catheters reduces the incidence of catheter-related bacteremia in patients with short-term catheter use at the central jugular and femoral sites, investigators in Spain report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend antimicrobial-impregnated catheters for short-term use, Dr. Leonardo Lorente and colleagues note in the November 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

However, they have observed a higher incidence of central venous catheter-related bacteremia associated with femoral and central jugular access than with other venous accesses at their institution, Hospital Universitario de Canarias in Tenerife.

They compared bacteremia rates for rifampicin-miconazole-impregnated catheters vs standard catheters among patients admitted to their intensive care unit between June 2006 and September 2007. Data involved 184 femoral catheters (73 impregnated with the antibiotics and 111 without), and 241 central jugular venous catheters (114 impregnated and 127 standard).

There were no cases of catheter-related bacteremia among patients with rifampicin-miconazole-impregnated catheters. However, standard catheters were associated with 8.62 cases per 1000 catheter-days in the femoral access group and 4.93 cases per 1000 catheter days in the central internal jugular access group (p < 0.05 for each).

Dr. Lorente and colleagues therefore