An endoluminal brush to detect the infected central venous catheter in situ: a pilot study

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 14 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1528
  1. Mark J Tighe, research fellowa,
  2. Peter Kite, consultant microbiologistb,
  3. Warren N Fawley, research assistantb,
  4. Daniel Thomas, research assistantb,
  5. Michael J McMahon, professor of surgerya
  1. a Nutrition Support Service and University Department of Surgery, General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX
  2. b Department of Microbiology, General Infirmary, Leeds
  1. Correspondence to: Professor McMahon.
  • Accepted 20 August 1996

Catheter related sepsis is a potentially life threatening infection caused by an indwelling intravenous catheter, with the same organism cultured from peripheral blood and from the removed catheter. If such sepsis is suspected the catheter is usually removed, although subsequent bacterial culture shows most catheters to be sterile.1 2 We evaluated a new brush (Endoluminal, FAS Medical, London) for detecting infection in the lumen of a central venous catheter. The brush has nylon bristles wound tightly around the distal end of a stainless steel wire and slides along the lumen of the catheter to its distal (inner) end. It is then removed for culture. The technique is based on the principle that bacteria collect on the fibrin sleeve on the catheter's inner surface; fibrin thus becomes enmeshed in the brush's bristles.

Methods and results

We studied …

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