• To evaluate a new multilumen central venous catheter we prospectively compared the infection rates of 63 single-lumen and 157 triple-lumen catheters in 145 critically ill patients. Using acute physiology scores, severity of illness was shown to be similar in the two patient groups. There were no significant differences in the rate of catheter colonization or catheter-related sepsis comparing single-lumen with triple-lumen catheters. However, the use of total parenteral nutrition or insertion at the femoral vein site significantly increased the rate of colonization. The only factor that was clearly associated with catheter sepsis was the duration of catheterization. Catheter sepsis increased from 1.5% to 10% when the period of catheterization exceeded 6 days. We conclude that the use of triple- and single-lumen central venous catheters in critically ill patients entails similar risks of infection.
(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1139-1143)