Objective: To explore the impact of retention of non-tunneled central venous catheters (CVCs) on survival in candidemic cancer patients, where CVCs are commonly used and essential. A second object was to determine whether early CVC removal would benefit a subset of cancer patients. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 92 cancer patients who had a single, non-tunneled CVC in place. Patients were grouped according to CVC retention or removal; the later group was subdivided into early (CVC removed ≤72 h after candidemia onset) and late removal. A Cox regression model was used for determining risk factors of adverse outcome and Kaplan-Meier analyses for comparing in-hospital 3-30 day survival among subgroups. Results: Baseline characteristics were comparable between CVC retention (n = 20) or removal (n = 72) groups. CVC retention was a significant risk factor of poor outcome, independent of other significant prognostic host factors (hazard ratio 7.15, 95% confidence interval 3.51-14.53, p < 0.001). Patients of early CVC removal (n = 40) had significant better survival than those of late removal (n = 32) (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The results suggest that retention of CVCs has a negative impact on survival in candidemic cancer patients, and that early CVC removal should be considered in a subset of cancer patients with candidemia.
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