The incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has almost doubled over past 2 decades. Despite decreasing overall hospital admission rates for ESRD population, the rate of infection-related hospitalizations has steadily increased. Infection remains the second most common cause of mortality in this patient population. Specifically, in the hemodialysis (HD) patients, the vascular access related infections are the most common identifiable source of infection. This concise review provides an update on the bacteremia related to vascular access primarily the catheters (Catheter Related Blood Stream Infection- CRBSI) in HD patients emphasizing on the determinants ranging from the epidemiology to pathogenesis, risk factors, cost implications and prevention. Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase negative Staphylococci, and Enterococci are the most common causative microorganisms implicated in CRBSI. The pathogenesis of CRBSI includes organism entry into the blood stream followed by adherence to catheter, colonization and biofilm formation. Vascular access type, catheter position, and prior bacteremic episodes are strongly associated with blood stream infection. Preventive measures should be multidisciplinary in nature and should include avoidance of central venous catheters, best practices for catheter care, surveillance, antimicrobial catheter lock solutions, and use of antibiotic impregnated catheters.
Keywords: Hemodialysis, vascular access, bacteremia, prevention, Fistula first, Catheter associated bacteremia.