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Clin Infect Dis. 1999 Aug;29(2):346-51.

Morbidity associated with long-term use of totally implantable ports in patients with AIDS.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.


To determine the morbidity associated with long-term use of a totally implantable central venous access device (Port-A-Cath [PAC]) in patients with AIDS, we studied 68 consecutive patients with AIDS requiring 79 such devices for long-term use, inserted over a period of 5 years. The total number of PAC-days was 20,159. At least one PAC-related complication occurred with 40 of 79 PACs (50.6% [95% confidence interval (CI): 39.6%-61.6%]), and 16 devices (20.2% [95% CI, 11.4%-29.0%]) had to be removed because of complications. Device-related infection occurred with 33 of 79 PACs (41.7% [95 CI, 30.8%-52.6%]). The predominant infection occurring with PACs was chamber infection, with an incidence of 0.16 per 100 PAC-days. The predominant organisms isolated from patients with chamber infections but also from those with device-related bacteremia were gram-positive cocci (79.4%). The presence of neutropenia (odds ratio [OR] = 9.72; 95% CI, 3.0-31.3; P < .001) and a CD4 cell count lower than 0.025 x 10(9)/L (OR = 6.14; 95% CI, 1.9-19.2; P = .002) were independent predictors of infection. The antibiotic lock technique was associated with decreased device loss when compared with isolated systemic antibiotic therapy (OR = 0.05; 95% CI, 0.0-0.59; P = .008). This technique may be useful to treat PAC infection in patients with AIDS, for whom the risk of PAC-related complications is very high.

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