We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Rapid Diagnosis of Intravascular Catheter-Related Sepsis

Peter Collignon, MB, BS, BSc(Med), FRACP, FRCPA; Rachael Chan, BSc; Rosemary Munro, MB, BS, MRCP, MRCPath Dp Bact
Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(9):1609-1612. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370090085015.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


• The use of Gram-stained "impression smears" of the external surface of intravascular catheters for rapid detection of catheter-associated infection was studied. Gram's stain results of 322 catheters were correlated with clinical episodes of systemic sepsis and semiquantitative cultures of the catheters. Organisms were seen on Gram's stain of 82 catheters, 37 of which were positive on semiquantitative cultures (≥15 colonies per plate). Catheter-related bacteremia occurred on three occasions. All three catheters showed numerous organisms on Gram's stain, although one was negative on semiquantitative culture. All five catheters, in place during bacteremic episodes that were unrelated to catheter infection, were negative on Gram's stain. If the presence of any organisms on Gram's stain was taken as a positive test result, the sensitivity of Gram's stain in predicting the result of semiquantitative culture was 83%, the specificity was 81%, and the predictive value of a positive and negative culture was 44% and 96%, respectively. Slides took two to five minutes to examine microscopically. Gram-stained impression smears of intravenous catheters can be made by a simple, inexpensive, and rapid technique that is accurate in diagnosing catheter-related infection. However, in this study in which a relatively low prevalence of catheter-related bacteremia occurred, the positive predictive value of the Gram's stain result in the diagnosis of catheter-related bacteremia, in contrast to catheter colonization, was low. Only in a patient group with a high prevalence of catheter-related bacteremia would the test be likely to have a high positive predictive value. Thus, selectivity should be exercised in the application of this method.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1609-1612)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

31 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.