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Antibiotic Therapy Reduces Mortality in Hemodialysis Patients, Study Finds

Update Date: Jul 03, 2014 09:04 AM EDT

An antibiotic therapy for catheter-related bloodstreams in hemodialysis patients has been shown to reduce mortality, according to a new study. 

According the study, low-dose "lock" solution of gentamicin/citrate reduced mortality by 68 percent compared to a solution of heparin - a blood-clotting therapy which is considered the standard of care. Further the study found that the gentamicin/citrate solution was associated with a 73 percent reduction in bloodstream infections compared to the heparin treatment. 

Researchers say the findings suggest the antibiotic therapy is a potential game-changer for hemodialysis treatment. 

"Advances in treatment have been elusive over the years. Perhaps our study can be a starting point to change the paradigm as a standard of care," said Jerry Yee, M.D., division head of Nephrology and Hypertension at Henry Ford and the study's senior author, in the press release. "The gentamicin/citrate solution was shown to be both safe and effective."

Researchers performed an observational study which involved 749 patients from September 2008 to June 2011. 427 patients were made part of the heparin study arm while 322 were subjects in the gentamicin/citrate arm.

The study has been funded by Henry Ford Health System.

Findings of the study are published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 

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