Purpose: Totally implantable ports require regular maintenance to prevent port-related complications. Manufacturers recommend monthly maintenance port flushes for patients for the life of the port. Previous studies show that extending intervals between maintenance port flushes up to 16 weeks does not increase incidence of port-related complications. To date, no prospective study has been conducted to evaluate the medical safety of extending flush intervals from monthly to every 12 weeks within a heterogeneous disease cohort. Research Question: Is it feasible and medically safe to extend intervals between maintenance port flushes to every 12 weeks in patients with cancer not on active treatment?
Patients and methods: This study enrolled oncology and hematology patients who had retained their port following completion of anticancer treatment. Clinical data were extracted for 1,059 participants. The primary end points of this study were the overall number of ports removed and incidence of port-related complications reported between cohorts 1 and 2 (flushes every 4-8 weeks), and cohort 3 (flushes every 12 weeks).
Results: Data were allocated into three study cohorts on the basis of year and duration between port flushes. No difference was observed in the overall percentage of ports removed because of physician-reported complications across all cohorts (25%-30%). No change in the incidence of port-related complications including suspected infection and malfunction was observed between cohorts 1 and 2 (8%), or cohort 3 (5%).
Conclusion: Our findings show that extending maintenance port flush intervals to 12 weeks does not increase the incidence of port-related adverse events and is medically safe.Reference:
Lang T, Jaboury S, West A, O’Sullivan J, Seletto K, Wilson L, Gleisner E, Richardson G. Is There a Relationship Between Frequency of Port-Care Maintenance and Related Complications in Patients With Cancer? JCO Oncol Pract. 2022 Jun 7:OP2200060. doi: 10.1200/OP.22.00060. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35671437.