IV ports in sickle cell disease
Background: Peripheral venous access in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) can become difficult over time due to frequent access and scarring. Infusion ports provide reliable central venous access. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and infections are complications associated with SCD and infusion ports.
Methods: We performed a 17.5-year single-institution retrospective chart review (January 2000 to July 2018) with literature review regarding use of infusion ports in patients with SCD.
Results: We identified 32 patients with infusion ports placed for a total of 63 devices (48 for chronic transfusion and 15 for poor venous access , not on CT) for a total of 99,272 catheter days. The mean age at first insertion was 8 years (range 1-20 years). Complications included malfunction, infection, thrombosis, difficult access, and pain over infusion port site. The rate of infection was 0.2 per 1000 catheter days. Thrombosis was identified in three devices (5%) in three patients (9%), with a rate of 0.03 per 1000 catheter days. There was no difference in complications by site in either the left or right subclavian vein (p = 1). The rate of premature removal was 0.36 per 1000 catheter days, which was higher among patients with infusion ports solely for PVA (0.87 per 1000 catheter days) compared with those placed for CT (0.29 per 1000 catheter days).
Conclusion: Infusion ports in patients with SCD was associated with low rates of thrombosis, infection, and malfunction, and may be considered as an alternative to frequent intravenous access, especially in patients requiring CT.
Ilonze C, Anderson M, Stubblefield A, Journeycake J, Sinha AA. Use of infusion ports in patients with sickle cell disease: Indications and complications. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2021 Nov 16:e29445. doi: 10.1002/pbc.29445. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34786823.