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Sriskandarajah, P., Webb, K., Chisholm, D., Raobaikady, R., Davis, K., Pepper, N., Ethell, M.E., Potter, M.N. and Shaw, B.E. (2015) Retrospective cohort analysis comparing the incidence of deep vein thromboses between peripherally-inserted and long-term skin tunneled venous catheters in hemato-oncology patients. Thrombosis Journal. 13:21. eCollection 2015.


BACKGROUND: The introduction of central venous catheters has advanced medical care, particularly in hemato-oncology. However these can be associated with an increased thrombotic risk. Previous studies have compared the rate of thrombotic events between peripherally- inserted (PICCs) and long term skin tunneled catheters (LTSTCs) noting fewer complications associated with the latter, though this has rarely translated into clinical practice. The objectives of our study was to compare the cumulative incidence of thrombotic events between peripherally-inserted and long term skin tunneled venous catheters.

PATIENTS/METHODS: We performed a retrospective, single center cohort analysis of patients with hematological malignancies who had either a PICC or LTSTC line inserted between January 2010 through January 2013. Cumulative incidences of thrombotic events were compared between the two groups, and post-thrombotic complications were also examined.

RESULTS: 346 patients had a PICC inserted with cumulative incidence of symptomatic thrombosis of 5.8%, while 237 patients had a LTSTC inserted with a cumulative incidence of 1.7% (p = 0.003). Post-thrombotic complication rates, particularly infection, were higher in the PICC group compared to the LTSTC group (p = 0.597).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that the incidence of thrombotic events in hemato-oncology patients was significantly lower in those who had a LTSTC compared to PICC line. As the use of central venous lines increases in hemato-oncology patient care, a randomized trial comparing PICCs and LTSTCs is necessary to address which venous access is most appropriate in this cohort of patients, with minimal risk of morbidity and mortality.

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