Catheter Tips

Useful For

·         Diagnosis of intravascular catheter-related infections


Testing Algorithm


Indications for Testing

Blood cultures are important in the evaluation of circumstances such as known or suspected sepsis, meningitis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, fever of unknown origin, etc. Blood cultures should be obtained from patient suspected of bacteremia with fever or hypothermia, leukocytosis or leukopenia.  Ideally, samples should be collected before antibiotics are given.


Catheter tips may be cultured if intravascular catheter-related infections are suspected.


Method Name

·         Intravascular catheter tips quantitative bacterial culture


Reporting Name

·         Catheter tip culture




Line infection

Systemic mycobacterial infection

Systemic dimorphic fungi infection


Test Specimens Minimum Volume Note
Intravascular catheter tips Remove the catheter and send catheter tip in a sterile container  

Around 5cm

1 set of peripheral blood culture should be collected within 24 hours of catheter tip



Test Transportation Transportation time Transportation Temperature
Intravascular catheter tips Sterile container 24h 2-8°C


Reject Due To

·         Unsuitable catheter line tips include arterial line tip, Foley catheter tip, endo-tracheal tube (ETT) tip, peripheral IV catheter tip, T-tube tip, G-tube tip, chest tube tip, Jackson-Pratt tip, Penrose tip, sump drain tip, Tenchkoff catheter tip, percutaneous drain tip and peritoneal dialysis catheters (abdominal).

Useful For

·         Diagnosis of intravascular catheter-related infections


Reference Values




·         Consult Microbiologists on Call at 709-777-6300 if extended incubation period is clinically required in some circumstances.

·         The isolation of a yeast species or Staphylococcus aureus in blood suggests a serious infection. An infectious diseases consult is recommended; the ID specialist can be reached through hospital locating at 709-777-6300

·         Intravascular catheter tips are cultured quantitatively, because low quantity of bacterial isolates may represent skin contamination.


Clinical Reference

Cumitech #1c Blood Cultures IV by Ellen Jo Baron

Garcia, Lynne S., ed. Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. 3rd ed. Washington: ASM Press, 2010: 2.1.21.

Test Status Days Analytic Time
Catheter tip culture Routine 7 days/week 48h


Method Description

Bacterial culture medium is used with the BD BACTEC fluorescent series instruments for recovery of microorganisms


Performing Laboratory Location

Newfoundland & Labrador Public Health Microbiology Laboratory

100 Forest Road

St. John’s, NL A1A 3Z9


Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address below to receive important updates from our labs!