Intravenous literature: Dickinson, M.G., Scholvinck, E.H., Boonstra, A., Vonk-Noordegraaf, A., Snijder, R.J. and Berger, R.M. (2009) Low complication rates with totally implantable access port use in epoprostenol treatment of pulmonary hypertension. Journal of Heart & Lung Transplantation. 28(3), p.273-9.
BACKGROUND: Among patients with advanced pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) who are receiving epoprostenol treatment, complications due to the delivery system are known to be a cause of serious morbidity and mortality. In this study, we aimed to outline the complications associated with the use of a totally implantable access port (TIAP) and their consequences in continuous intravenous epoprostenol treatment.
METHODS: One hundred eleven pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients treated with epoprostenol through a totally implantable access port (TIAP) between May 1998 and July 2006 at three Dutch PH referral centers were retrospectively studied.
RESULTS: During a mean follow-up period of 946 +/- 719 days, TIAP-related complications included local port site infections, bloodstream infections, port site skin perforations and incorrect port placement, with incidence rates of 0.11, 0.15, 0.06 and 0.04 per patient-year, respectively. Fatal, serious, moderate and minor consequences of these complications had incidence rates of 0.01, 0.50, 0.09 and 0.01 per patient-year, respectively. The median complication-free survival was 371 days. Staphylococcus aureus was the dominant infectious agent. The median TIAP life duration was 677 days. Female patients showed significantly longer first TIAP survival (p = 0.004).
CONCLUSIONS: The use of a TIAP showed long-lasting port survival and relatively low complication rates. Our data suggest that the TIAP is well suited for continuous intravenous epoprostenol delivery in patients with pulmonary hypertension.