J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2020 Aug 13:S1051-0443(20)30442-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2020.04.037. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To determine the impact of port and catheter tip cultures on the clinical management of port-related infections.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients whose ports were removed for infection between January 2016 and December 2019 were retrospectively identified. The study sample included 68 ports removed for suspected catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) and 27 ports removed for local infection. Port surface, catheter tip, and blood culture results were recorded. Antimicrobial therapy before and after port removal was recorded. The impact of culture results on port infection management was determined.
RESULTS: Of the 68 ports removed from patients with CRBSI, 78% received empiric antibiotics. Of these patients, blood cultures led to a change in therapy in 77%. Catheter tip cultures were positive in 32% whereas port surface cultures were positive in 53% of patients. Culture results did not influence antimicrobial therapy in any patient with CRBSI. Of 27 port removals performed for local infection, catheter tip cultures were positive in 41% whereas port surface cultures were positive in 59% of patients. Port surface cultures led to a change in therapy in 33% of local infections. Port surface cultures were significantly more likely to impact management if removal was performed for local infection than for CRBSI (33% vs. 0%, respectively; P < .001). Port surface cultures were inclusive of all positive catheter tip cultures.
CONCLUSIONS: For patients with suspected CRBSI, blood cultures alone are sufficient to guide therapy. Port cultures may be justified in the setting of local infection. Catheter tip cultures are unnecessary if port surface cultures are performed.