“Fifty cancer patients were retrospectively enrolled in this study. The obligatory inclusion criterion was an implanted CVC of the port-a-cath type, inserted for chemotherapy administration.” Granic et al (2014).
Granic, M., Zdravkovic, D., Krstajic, S., Kostic, S., Simic, A., Sarac, M., Ivanovic, N., Radovanovic, D., Dikic, S. and Kovcin, V. (2014) Totally implantable central venous catheters of the port-acath type: complications due to its use in the treatment of cancer patients. Journal of B.U.ON. 19(3), p.842-846.
Purpose: A multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of patients with malignant diseases requires adequate venous access in order to safely administer chemotherapy, blood transfusion and blood products, antibiotics, rehydratation and total parenteral nutrition. The insertion of the central venous catheter (CVC), its use and its maintenance can be accompanied by multiple complications.
Methods: Fifty cancer patients were retrospectively enrolled in this study. The obligatory inclusion criterion was an implanted CVC of the port-a-cath type, inserted for chemotherapy administration. This study included patients who had their catheters inserted in the period from 2001 to 2012.
Results: The median patient age was 44 years (range 28- 68). Thirty five patients (70%) were female and 15 (30%) male. The port-a-cath had been used from 1 to 40 months (16.8±9 months on average). Breast cancer was the most frequent malignancy (18 patients, 36%). The overall incidence of reported complications was 38%. The most common complications were infections and thromboembolic events, each with an incidence of 10 %. The malposition and disconnection of the port-a-cath were in second place, each with an incidence of 6%.
Conclusion: Insertion of the CVC carries the possibility of serious complications (thrombosis, infections, occlusions). However, correct implantation and handling performed by experienced and trained surgical and other medical staff significantly decrease the incidence of these complications. The use of the CVC has greatly improved the quality of life and also decreased the morbidity and mortality of the cancer patients in our study.
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