Buttonhole (constant-site) cannulation (BHC) continues to gain popularity with home and in-center dialysis programs worldwide. However, long-term safety data are lacking. This paper reports the authors' single-center experience with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) and the efficacy of topical mupirocin prophylaxis (MP).
This study was a retrospective prepost comparison of SAB rates after establishing MP. Fifty-six consecutive patients on home nocturnal hemodialysis via arteriovenous fistulae, mean age 51.5 +/- 10.6 years, 38% women, and vintage 44.5 +/- 34.5 months were observed for a total of 93.4 (pre-MP) and 193.5 (post-MP) patient-years.
Ten episodes of SAB were observed, with metastatic complications in four cases, including pneumonia (n = 2), septic arthritis, and a fatal C3 epidural abscess. When analyzed by observation period, the odds ratio (OR) for SAB before versus after the introduction of MP was 6.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3 to 32.3; P = 0.02]. Two SAB episodes occurred after the MP started. Both patients had discontinued the MP for 3 weeks (nonadherent) preceding infection; hence, no SAB episodes were observed on treatment. In an as-treated analysis, the OR for SAB in the absence of MP was 35.3 (95% CI = 2.0 to 626.7; P = 0.01).
BHC is associated with a significant risk of SAB with metastatic complications. In this prepost comparison of SAB rates, no infections were observed with MP. While awaiting more definitive studies, this simple intervention should be considered for patients using BHC.