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Prevention of Infection in Adults Receiving Intravenous Antibiotic Treatment via Indwelling Central Venous Access Devices

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 1 ]


Basant K. Puri *, Anne Derham and Jean A. Monro   Pages 47 - 49 ( 3 )


Background: The use of indwelling Central Venous Access Devices (CVADs) is associated with the development of bloodstream infections. When CVADs are used to administer systemic antibiotics, particularly second- or higher-generation cephalosporins, there is a particular risk of developing Clostridium difficile infection. The overall bloodstream infection rate is estimated to be around 1.74 per 1000 Central Venous Catheter (CVC)-days.

Objective: We hypothesised that daily oral administration of the anion-binding resin colestyramine (cholestyramine) would help prevent infections in those receiving intravenous antibiotic treatment via CVADs.

Method: A small case series is described of adult patients who received regular intravenous antibiotic treatment (ceftriaxone, daptomycin or vancomycin) for up to 40 weeks via indwelling CVADs; this represented a total of 357 CVC-days. In addition to following well-established strategies to prevent C. difficile infection, during the course of the intravenous antibiotic treatment the patients also received daily oral supplementation with 4 g colestyramine.

Results: There were no untoward infectious events. In particular, none of the patients developed any symptoms or signs of C. difficile infection, whereas approximately one case of a bloodstream infection would have been expected.

Conclusion: It is suggested that oral colestyramine supplementation may help prevent such infection through its ability to bind C. difficile toxin A (TcdA) and C. difficile toxin B (TcdB); these toxins are able to gain entry into host cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis, while anti-toxin antibody responses to TcdA and TcdB have been shown to induce protection against C. difficile infection sequelae.


Ceftriaxone, central venous access device, Clostridium difficile infection, colestyramine, daptomycin, vancomycin.


Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, Breakspear Medical Group, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, Breakspear Medical Group, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

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