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Complications Related to Indwelling Caval Catheters on a Gynecologic Oncology Service

Gynecologic Oncology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1006/gyno.1998.5133
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Medicine


Abstract Objective.To assess the rate of complications of indwelling caval catheter (ICC) use on a gynecologic oncology service and to compare complication rates between subcutaneous ports and external catheters. Methods.A retrospective analysis of 185 patients who underwent 216 ICC placements between April 1, 1987 and April 1, 1997, was performed. Patient and catheter characteristics were analyzed as they related to the rate of pneumothorax, bacteremia, and deep neck and thoracic vein thrombosis (DNVT). Results.A total of 216 ICCs were placed including 152 implanted ports and 64 external catheters. Pneumothorax occurred in 2% of ICC insertions. Bacteremia complicated 16% of ICCs. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that external catheters ( P< 0.01) and neutropenia ( P< 0.01) were independent risk factors for bacteremia. DNVT complicated 6% of ICCs and was observed significantly ( P< 0.02) more frequently among 11 catheters placed in patients with clear cell malignancies of the female reproductive tract. Unplanned catheter removal occurred significantly ( P< 0.01) more frequently among patients with external catheters compared to implanted devices. Conclusions.Implantable ICCs appear to offer a significant advantage compared to external devices with regard to the development of bacteremia and unplanned catheter removal. Though catheter type, neutropenia, and TPN are associated with an increased incidence of bacteremia, multivariate analysis does not include TPN as an independent risk factor for ICC-related bacteremia. A significant increase in the rate of DNVT among a small number of patients with clear cell gynecologic malignancies warrants further study.

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