Intravenous literature: Murray, J., Precious, E. and Alikhan, R. (2013) Catheter-related thrombosis in cancer patients. British Journal of Haematology. July 15th. [Epub ahead of print].
Central venous catheters are commonly used in haematology departments for the administration of chemotherapy, blood products and parenteral nutrition in patients with haematological malignancy. Thrombosis is a recognized complication of such devices especially in oncology patients. Catheter-related thrombi (CRT) may lead to pulmonary embolism and infection, as well as catheter failure and potential delays in treatment. The vast majority of CRT are asymptomatic, thus a high index of suspicion is required in making the diagnosis. Doppler ultrasound or venography may be employed to identify CRT. Once confirmed, the initiation of treatment is a balance between the risks of anticoagulation against potential complications of CRT. A number of risk factors for CRT are discussed along with an overview of catheter types, their appropriate choice and intravascular positioning.