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J Surg Oncol. 1992 Mar;49(3):156-62.

Comparison of infections in Hickman and implanted port catheters in adult solid tumor patients.

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Infectious Diseases Section, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Long-term therapy of oncology patients has been facilitated by permanent indwelling central venous catheters, but catheter-related infections remain a serious complication of their use. Using a retrospective matched cohort design, we compared the risk of catheter-related infection in 47 adult solid tumor patients with right atrial Hickman catheters and 94 patients with totally implanted port catheters. Patients were matched for primary solid tumor, presence of metastases, age, gender, and date of catheter insertion. Seven of 47 patients with Hickman catheters developed catheter-related infection (1.8 infections/1,000 catheter days at risk) compared with 10 of 94 patients with implanted port catheters (0.4/1000 catheter days, P less than 0.0002). Hickman catheters were used more often for terminally ill patients than were port catheters which was a potential source of bias, but results were unchanged after stratifying patients on lifespan. Our study suggests that there are fewer infections in port than in Hickman catheters in adult patients with solid tumors, but prospective randomized studies are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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