Fifteen studies (n approximately 6,199) were included in the review: 6 RCTs, 3 prospective studies with similar groups, and 6 prospective or retrospective studies with dissimilar groups.
Since double-lumen catheters made up only 2% of the total catheters, they were grouped together with triple-lumen catheters as multi-lumen catheters in the analyses.
When all studies that provided ORs (n=13) were combined, the summary ORs for both CRBSI (2.15, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.00, 4.66) and colonisation (1.78, 95% CI: 0.92, 3.47) indicated a higher risk of infection with multi-lumen catheters, but the differences were not statistically significant. Heterogeneity was statistically significant in both analyses (P=0.001 and P=0.004, respectively).
The meta-analysis limited to RCTs and prospective studies with similar groups (n=7) showed no significant difference in CRBSI (OR 1.30, 95% CI: 0.50, 3.41) or colonisation (OR 1.30, 95% CI: 0.82, 2.07). Heterogeneity was not statistically significant (P=0.11 and P=0.67, respectively).
The authors reported the results of the sensitivity analyses in the paper.