Positive bacterial cultures were obtained from catheters and guide wires or blood, or both, during 23 of 100 angiographic procedures. Most frequently contaminated were the catheters. In 11 cases, the organisms isolated were of low virulence (diphtheroids, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and an aerobic Gram-positive rod) and may have represented air or skin contaminants. In 12 cases, however, Gram-negative bacilli of known pathogenicity were recovered. Transient bacteremia was demonstrated in four cases, but in none did local infection of puncture or cutdown sites, or prolonged bacteremia leading to sepsis develop. Postprocedure temperature elevations were not proved to be related to catheter-induced infection.
(JAMA 229:1090-1092, 1974)