Isolated limb infusion with cytotoxic agents: A simplified approach for venous access


  • Submitted as an abstract for presentation at the 34th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology March 7-12, 2009, San Diego, California.



Isolated limb infusion (ILI) of cytotoxic agents is a regional therapy for cutaneous malignancies in a single extremity. Conventional ILI technique requires retrograde catheterization of the contralateral femoral vein. A novel modified ILI technique uses an ipsilateral popliteal venous approach. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of ILI using the 2 different approaches.


Data from patients who underwent lower-extremity ILI at the authors' institution between October 2005 and June 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. The authors compared the 2 ILI approaches with regard to overall procedure time, fluoroscopy time, and the number of callbacks to the operating room (OR) for flow-related issues. The Student t test and Fisher exact test were used. Adverse events, including deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the treated limb, were recorded.


Between October 2005 and June 2008, 67 lower-extremity ILI procedures (15 using a contralateral venous access approach and 52 using an ipsilateral venous access approach) were performed in 62 patients (28 men and 34 women aged 31-82 years). The mean fluoroscopy times for the contralateral and ipsilateral groups were 17.9 and 8.3 minutes, respectively (P = .0019). No significant difference in the overall procedure time and number of callbacks to the OR for flow-related issues between the 2 groups was identified.


The ipsilateral popliteal venous approach is a simplified and safe ILI technique with significantly lower overall fluoroscopy procedure times required for catheter placement and no difference in catheter-related adverse events, when compared with the conventional contralateral approach. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.