Impact of using an indwelling introducer on diagnosis of Swan-Ganz pulmonary artery catheter colonization

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases : Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology
J VallésA Artigas


A prospective study was conducted to determine how the use of an indwelling introducer influences the diagnosis of pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) colonization. Sixty-six consecutive PACs and introducers were aseptically removed over a 15-month period. Two segments of the catheter and the catheter tip (a proximal segment from the portion of the catheter beneath the introducer) and two segments of the introducer (a proximal intradermal segment and the introducer tip) were cultured using a semiquantitative technique. Nineteen of 66 (28.7%) PACs showed colonization, representing an incidence of 5.6 episodes per 100 catheterization-days. Catheter tip cultures identified only 68% of colonized PACs; this yield rose to 91% when introducer tip cultures were added. These results indicate a need to evaluate both introducer tip cultures and catheter tip cultures for an accurate diagnosis of PAC colonization when an indwelling introducer is used.


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