Hepatitis C infection and the risk of bacteremia in hemodialysis patients with tunneled vascular access catheters

Shilpa Reddy, Robert Sullivan, Robert Zaiden, Victor Lopez De Mendoza, Nimish Naik, Kenneth J Vega, Norris Stanley Nahman, Irene Alexandraki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The major complication of tunneled vascular catheters in dialysis patients is infection. In preliminary work, an association was noted between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and bacteremia in these patients. On this basis, we theorized that HCV infection may be associated with bacteremia in dialysis patients with tunneled catheters. METHODS: We conducted a two-phase clinical study to define the association between HCV infection and bacteremia in hemodialysis patients with catheters. Phase 1 was a cross-sectional study designed to assess the association between HCV serologic status and bacteremia. Phase 2 was a prospective study that examined the relationship between HCV viral load and bacteremia. RESULTS: In Phase 1, HCV (+) patients had a significantly greater prevalence of bacteremia than HCV (-) patients (61 vs 7.7% respectively, P < 0.05). In Phase 2, the presence of detectable virus was associated with a numerical trend toward an increase in the incidence of bacteremia (40 vs 0% for patients with and without detectable virus, respectively, P = 0.09). CONCLUSION: These studies suggest that HCV infection may be associated with the development of bacteremia in hemodialysis patients with tunneled catheters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-377
Number of pages4
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Bacteremia
  • Hemodialysis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Tunneled catheters
  • Vascular access catheters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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