Surface Treated Catheters for Vascular Access—Useful?


Background: Catheter-related infections (CRI), thrombosis, and stenosis are among the most frequent complications associated with catheters which are inserted in vessels as vascular access. These problems are usually related to the handling of the staff, the catheter materials, and the surface properties of the catheter. To mitigate such complications surface treatment process of the outer surface, such as ion beam assisted deposition is investigated in a retrospective study from 1992 to 2007, to prove if the surface treatment of the catheters is a sufficient solution. Methods: This study (1992-2007) evaluated silver coated and non-coated implanted large-bore catheters used for extracorporeal detoxification. In 159 patients, 54 patients received a silver coated catheter (Spi-Argent, Spire Corporation, Bedford, MA, USA) and 105 patients, an untreated catheter served as controls. The catheters were inserted into the internal jugular or subclavian veins. After removal, the catheters were cultured for bacterial colonization using standard microbiologic assays. They were also examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Results: The silver coated catheters showed a tendency towards longer in situ time. The microbiologic examinations of the catheter tips were in both catheter types high positive, but not significant. Conclusion: The silver coated catheters showed no significant reduction in infection rate by evaluation of all collected data in this retrospective study. There was no association between both catheters in significantly reducing patient discomfort. Other surface treatments which include the outer and inner surface are necessary. New developed catheter materials such as the microdomain structured inner and outer surface, as an example, are considered more biocompatible because they mimic the structure of natural biological surface.

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R. Bambauer, R. Schiel, C. Bambauer and R. Latza, "Surface Treated Catheters for Vascular Access—Useful?," Open Journal of Nephrology, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 152-160. doi: 10.4236/ojneph.2013.33028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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