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Advances in the prevention and management of central-line–associated bloodstream infections: The role of chelator-based catheter locks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2019

Anne-Marie Chaftari*
Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
George M. Viola
Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Joel Rosenblatt
Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Ray Hachem
Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Issam Raad
Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Author for correspondence: Anne-Marie Chaftari, MD, Anderson Cancer Center, Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health, 1515 Holcombe Blvd. Unit 1460 Houston, TX 77030. Email:


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.

© 2019 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved. 

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