Cannula tips



CVC tip cultured by roll method

  • Suitable types of line: venous and arterial long lines, PICC lines, tunnelled central lines (e.g. Groshong)
  • Unsuitable types of line: peripheral venous cannulae
  • Routine culture of line tips is not indicated in the absence of clinical features of line infection.
  • If line-associated bacteraemia is suspected, then peripheral and line blood cultures should also be sent

Sample requirements

30mL sterile universal container

  • Withdraw the cannula tip
  • Immediately cut off the terminal 4cm into the sterile container using sterile scissors
30 mL sterile Universal

Required information

  • Type of line
  • Clinical features of sepsis
  • If patient is on TPN
  • Recent, current and intended antibiotics


Store and transport at room temperature. Samples should be transported to the laboratory with minimal delay.

Turnaround time

2 - 3 days

Page last reviewed: 28/01/2014