1. Mai 2018

Decolonization potential of 0.02% polyhexanide irrigation solution in urethral catheters under practice-like in vitro conditions


FHH Brill, H Gabriel, H Brill, JH Klock, J Steinmann, A Arndt


BMC Urology, 2018, 18:49, © The Author(s). 2018, Received: 10 January 2017, Accepted: 11 May 2018, Published: 24 May 2018


Long-term use of indwelling urethral catheters is associated with high risk of urinary tract infection (UTI) and blockage, which may in turn cause significant morbidity and reduce the life of the catheter. A 0.02% polyhexanide irrigation solution has been developed for routine mechanical rinsing together with bacterial decolonization of suprapubic and indwelling urethral catheters.

Using a practice-like in vitro assay and standard silicon catheters, artificially contaminated with clinically relevant bacteria, experiments were carried out to evaluate the bacterial decolonization potential of polyhexanide vs. 1) no intervention (standard approach) and 2) irrigation with a saline (NaCl 0.9%) solution. Swabbing and irrigation was used to extract the bacteria.

Irrigation with polyhexanide reduced the microbial population vs. the control catheters by a factor of 1.64 log10 (swab extraction) and by a factor of 2.56 log10 (membrane filtration). The difference in mean microbial counts between the two groups (0.90) was statistically significant in favor of polyhexanide when the liquid extraction method was used (p = 0.034). The difference between the two groups using the swab extraction method did not reach statistical significance.

The saline and polyhexanide solutions are able to reduce bacterial load of catheters, which shows a combined mechanical and antimicrobial effect. Further research is required to evaluate the long-term tolerability and efficacy of polyhexanide in clinical practice.