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Keywords:

  • Port-a-Cath;
  • infection;
  • complications;
  • central venous catheter

HEIBL C., TROMMET V., BURGSTALLER S., MAYRBAEURL B., BALDINGER C., KOPLMÜLLER R., KÜHR T., WIMMER L. & THALER J. (2010) European Journal of Cancer Care19, 676–681

Complications associated with the use of Port-a-Caths in patients with malignant or haematological disease: a single-centre prospective analysis

Totally implantable central venous catheters are widely used in the management of patients with haematological or malignant disease. This paper investigates device-related complications and compares it with the literature. A total of 143 Port-a-Caths (PaCs) were implanted in 140 patients at a single centre during 2004 and followed until March 2005. Indication for implantation was mainly administration of chemotherapy. High standards of care were applied through intensive training of staff. Complications were registered prospectively and cross-checked with the medical records at the end of the observational period. The ports were in place for a total of 29 107 days (mean 204, range 3–443 days per port). A total of 25 complications were recorded. These included 13 infections [9.1% with 5 cutaneous (3.5%) and 8 systemic (5.6%) infections], one deep vein thrombosis (0.7%). In 6 patients (4.2%) the device had to be removed because of complications. No device-related death was observed. The use of totally implantable central venous catheters for treating haemoto-oncological patients is safe. The need for device removal due to complications was particularly low in this analysis as compared with the literature.