Nine RCTs were included in the review (n=2,202).
The authors remarked that in general the quality of included studies was low. Six trials had unclear or inadequate allocation concealment and six gave an inadequate description of drop-out rates. Analysis by intention to treat was not performed in six of the trials and was unclear in the remaining three. Only one RCT was described as double blind.
Antibiotic-treated CVCs versus standard CVCs (one RCT, n=356)
This trial found that antibiotic-treated CVCs reduced the occurrence of CRBSI in outpatients receiving chemotherapy IDD -1.03 (95%CI -1.76, -0.3; p=0.005). The mean insertion time to avoid one case of CRBSI was estimated to be 63 days.
Antiseptic-treated CVCs versus standard CVCs (eight RCTs, n=1,846)
There was no significant benefit of using antiseptic-treated CVCs. The mean insertion time to avoid one case of CRBSI was estimated to be 14.6 days. Significant heterogeneity was not detected using Χ2. The only subgroup analysis to demonstrate a significant benefit of antiseptic-treated CVCs was in patients with a relatively high incidence of CRBSI, IDR 0.44 (95% CI 0.20, 0.93; p=0.03).
The regression curve for the NNT as a function of baseline incidence density did not establish a relationship between the treatment effect and the underlying risk.
Publication bias was not detected by a funnel plot.