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Ethanol lock therapy for the treatment of catheter-related infections in haemophilia patients

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Central venous access devices (CVAD) are increasingly being used for optimal delivery of clotting factor concentrates in patients with haemophilia with poor peripheral venous access. The utility of CVAD is particularly well recognized in young patients starting factor prophylaxis and in patients with inhibitors undergoing immune tolerance induction (ITI). A catheter-related infection (CRI) remains the most common complication of CVAD in haemophilia patients and is the most frequent indication for its removal. Additionally, in some patients the infection results in significant morbidity and mortality and also contributes to failure of the ITI regimen. Ethanol-lock therapy (ELT) is a treatment modality that has been used to treat CRI in patients with indwelling catheters for home parenteral nutrition and chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to report the success in treating CRI in haemophilia patients using ELT. Three severe haemophilia A patients undergoing ITI regimen who developed CVAD infections resistant to conventional management with antibiotics were treated by ELT according to the institutional technique. All three patients responded well to ELT with clearance of the CVAD infection. There were no adverse side effects. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ELT in patients with haemophilia. The role of ELT needs to be investigated in larger studies for treatment of CRI in patients with bleeding disorders.

Keywords: catheter-related infections; ethanol-lock; haemophilia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA 2: Department of Pediatric Imaging, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI, USA

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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