Long-term complications of totally implanted central venous access ports of the upper arm


Intravenous literature: Busch, J.D., Herrmann, J., Heller, F., Derlin, T., Koops, A., Adam, G. and Habermann, C.R. (2012) Follow-up of radiologically totally implanted central venous access ports of the upper arm: long-term complications in 127,750 catheter-days. American Journal of Roentgenology. 199(2), p.447-52.


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to retrospectively evaluate radiologically totally implanted central venous access ports (VAPs) of the upper arm in terms of safety, technical feasibility, and device-related complications.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five hundred seven consecutive patients (mean [± SD] age, 59.2 ± 11.4 years) who received a totally implanted central VAP between January 2005 and July 2010 were included. The insertion procedure was performed in an interventional radiology suite using the Seldinger technique. Neither antibiotic prophylaxis nor long-term anticoagulation was administered.

RESULTS: In 507 patients, a total of 523 devices were implanted. Of these 523 procedures, 512 complete datasets were available during follow-up. The primary technical success rate was 99.04%. All procedures were completed without major complications. During follow-up and with a total number of 127,750 days of totally implanted central VAP implantation (248 ± 279 days/patient; range, 1-1687 days/patient), 50 devices had to be revised because of complications (9.8%). Complications occurred at a mean of 114 ± 183 days (range, 1-1113 days) after placement. Early complications were noted in 21 of 512 cases (4.1%), and late complications were noted in 29 of 512 cases (5.7%). Complications were as follows: local infections, 4.9% (25/512); systemic infections, 0.4% (2/512); venous thrombosis, 1.6% (8/512); paralysis of the median nerve, 0.6% (3/512); skin dehiscence at the port site, 0.2% (1/512); and mechanical problems including catheter line displacement, port hub rotation, and catheter fracture, 2.1% (11/512).

CONCLUSION: Radiologic placement of a totally implanted central VAP is a safe procedure with a low rate of both early and late device-related complications. The method is effective for delivery of chemotherapy, parenteral nutrition, and frequent IV medication.

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