The proper functioning of central lines is imperative for the management of patients with cancer or on hemodialysis. However, these lifelines can become infected and can malfunction.
Chelators such as citrate and EDTA have been widely studied alone or in combination with other antimicrobial agents in catheter lock solutions to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infections and to maintain catheter patency. Given their anticoagulation, antiplatelet aggregation, antibiofilm, antimicrobial activity, safety profile, as well as their low cost, chelators have long been considered alternatives to heparin and a vital component of catheter lock solutions. In this review, we present a detailed summary of the properties of chelators and in vitro and in vivo studies of chelator-containing lock solutions.