Hydrochloric acid therapy for central line-associated bloodstream infection in children with cancer

This trial is evaluating the effect of hydrochloric acid lock therapy in children with cancer and central line-associated bloodstream infections.

​A research project by Mette Bondo Mønster


Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are a major threat to children with cancer. Hydrochloric acid lock therapy (HALT) is routinely used in children with CLABSI in Denmark to prevent treatment failure, but no high-quality evidence exists. The aim of this nationwide, randomized trial is to evaluate the effect HALT.


HALT reduces treatment failure of CLABSI by more than 50%, without adverse events. 


Study design: A nationwide, randomized trial to investigate if HALT is superior to no lock therapy of the central line in children with cancer and CLABSI. 
Patient population: Patients aged 0-18 years from the Danish pediatric oncology centers. 

Randomization: 1:1 assignment of HALT or no lock therapy during the first 72 hours of CLABSI. 

Primary endpoint: Treatment failure; defined as persistent or recurrent bacteremia within 12 weeks after HALT or no lock therapy.

Secondary endpoints: 1) CLABSI attributable catheter removal, 2) death or admission to Pediatric Intensive Care Unit associated to CLABSI, 3) mechanical catheter damage, 4) reinfection with a different pathogen within 12 weeks after HALT or no lock therapy 5) infusion related reactions. 

Sample size: A total of 160 CLABSI. 

Inclusion period: 24 months. 


This study will be the first randomized trial worldwide investigating the impact of hydrochloric acid as catheter lock therapy. It will be an important contribution to treatment guidelines for CLABSI.

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