A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial of Taurolidine-Citrate Catheter Locks for the Prevention of Bacteremia in Patients Treated With Hemodialysis

Laurie R. Solomon, John S. Cheesbrough, Leonard Ebah, Tamer Al-Sayed, Michael Heap, Nick Millband, Dee Waterhouse, Sandip Mitra, Alan Curry, Rema Saxena, Rammohan Bhat, Michael Schulz, Peter Diggle

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83 Scopus citations


Background: Bacteremia is a major cause of morbidity in patients using intravascular catheters. Interdialytic locking with antibiotics decreases the incidence of bacteremia, but risks antibiotic resistance. Taurolidine is a nontoxic broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that has not been associated with resistance. Preliminary evidence suggests that taurolidine-citrate locks decrease bacteremia, but cause flow problems in established catheters. Study Design: Double-blind randomized controlled trial. Intervention: Interdialytic locking with taurolidine and citrate (1.35% taurolidine and 4% citrate) compared with heparin (5,000 U/mL) started at catheter insertion. Setting & Participants: 110 adult hemodialysis patients with tunneled cuffed intravascular catheters inserted at 3 centers in Northwest England. Outcomes & Measurements: Primary end points were time to first bacteremia episode from any cause and time to first use of thrombolytic therapy. Results: There were 11 bacteremic episodes in the taurolidine-citrate group and 23 in the heparin group (1.4 and 2.4 episodes/1,000 patient-days, respectively; P = 0.1). There was no significant benefit of taurolidine-citrate versus heparin for time to first bacteremia (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.2-1.6: P = 0.4). Taurolidine-citrate was associated with fewer infections caused by Gram-negative organisms than heparin (0.2 vs 1.1 infections/1,000 patient-days; P = 0.02); however, there was no difference for Gram-positive organisms (1.1 vs 1.2 infections/1,000 patient-days; P = 0.8). There was a greater need for thrombolytic therapy in the taurolidine-citrate versus heparin group (hazard ratio, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.3-5.2; P = 0.008). Limitations: Small sample size. The study included bacteremia from all causes and was not specific for catheter-related bacteremia. Conclusions: Taurolidine-citrate use did not decrease all-cause bacteremia and was associated with a greater need for thrombolytic treatment. There was a decrease in infections caused by Gram-negative organisms and a trend to a lower frequency of bacteremia, which warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1068
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteremia
  • catheter
  • hemodialysis
  • lock solution
  • randomized trial
  • taurolidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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