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Br J Cancer. 2004 Sep 13;91(6):1045-9.

Long-term outcome of radiological-guided insertion of implanted central venous access port devices (CVAPD) for the delivery of chemotherapy in cancer patients: institutional experience and review of the literature.

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  • 1Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Rd, Camperdown, 2050 NSW, Australia.


Central venous access port devices (CVAPD) are necessary for delivery of prolonged infusional chemotherapy or in patients with poor peripheral venous access. Previous studies of Hickman catheters report complication rates in about 45% of patients. Our aim was to assess the early and late complication rate, and duration that the CVAPD remained functional, following insertion by interventional radiologists in patients with solid tumours. A prospective study was undertaken in 110 consecutive patients who had insertion of 111 subclavian CVAPD. The median age of patients was 57 years (range 17-83), 64 were females; 68 patients (61%) had gastrointestinal tumours and 25 (23%) had breast cancer. CVAPD were successfully implanted in all but one patient. There were four (4%) immediate major complications: thrombosis 2 and pneumothorax 2. Nine patients (8%) had bruising or pain. Four devices (4%) became infected. In total, 100 CVAPD (90%) were either removed as planned at the end of treatment (n=23) after a median 203 days, or remained in situ for a median of 237 days (7-1133). Premature removal occurred in eight patients due to infection (n=4), thrombosis (n=3) or faulty device (n=1). Four patients were lost to follow-up. Radiological insertion of CVAPD is safe and convenient with low rates of complications.

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