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Role of implantable ports in the management of pediatric patients – Full Text

"Open and percutaneous port-a-cath insertions are safe in children with chronic diseases. Port-a-cath improved patients' management, and complications are infrequent" Bawazir and Banoon (2020).

Background: Implanted vascular access devices play an essential role in the management of pediatric patients. The objectives of this study were to assess our experience with port-a-cath insertion in pediatric patients, report its complications, and compare open versus percutaneous approaches.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study, including 568 patients who underwent port-a-cath insertion between 2013 and 2019 in our center. We grouped the patients according to the technique of insertion into two groups: group 1 (n = 168) included patients who had the open approach and group 2 (n = 404) included patients who had the percutaneous technique. (p < 0.001).

Results: Patients in group 1 were younger (4.10 ± 3.45 years) compared to patients in group 2 (5.47 ± 3.85 years). The main indications of insertion were hematological malignancy 57.74% (n = 328), solid organ malignancy 25.18% (n = 143), pure hematological diseases 5.46% (n = 31), metabolic diseases 2.64% (n = 15), and others for poor vascular access 8.8% (n = 50). The most common site for insertion in group 1 was the left external jugular (n = 136; 82.98%) and the left subclavian in group 2 (n = 203; 50.25%). Two hundred and two patients had a central line before catheter insertion (36.6%). Complications during insertion were comparable between both groups (p = 0.427). The catheter got stuck in 6 patients; all required additional incision and two needed venotomy. The most common reason to remove the catheter was the completion of the treatment (63.69% and 61.14%, in groups 1 and 2, respectively). The duration of the catheter was comparable between the two groups (13.14 ± 14.76 vs. 14.44 ± 14.04 months in group 1 vs.2; p = 0.327).

Conclusions: Open and percutaneous port-a-cath insertions are safe in children with chronic diseases. Port-a-cath improved patients’ management, and complications are infrequent. The most common complications are infection and catheter malfunction, which can be managed without catheter removal in some patients.


Bawazir, O. and Banoon, E. (2020) Efficacy and clinical outcome of the port-a-cath in children: a tertiary care-center experience. World Journal of Surgical Oncology. 18(1), p.134.