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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 3

of 'Extravasation injury from chemotherapy and other non-antineoplastic vesicants'

Use of totally implantable central venous access ports for high-dose chemotherapy and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation: results of a monocentre series of 376 patients.
Biffi R, Pozzi S, Agazzi A, Pace U, Floridi A, Cenciarelli S, Peveri V, Cocquio A, Andreoni B, Martinelli G
Ann Oncol. 2004 Feb;15(2):296-300.
BACKGROUND: The complication rate of central venous totally implantable access ports (TIAP), used for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation support, has not been fully investigated to date, due to the almost exclusive use of externalised, tunnelled devices in this clinical setting.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: During a 66-month period (from 1 January 1997 to 30 June 2002), 376 patients suffering from breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lymphoma or multiple myeloma were treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation at the European Institute of Oncology (Milan, Italy). A single type of port was used, constructed from titanium and silicone rubber, connected to a 7.8 F polyurethane catheter (Port-A-Cath; SIMS Deltec, Inc., St Paul, MN, USA) inserted into the subclavian vein. They were followed prospectively for device-related complications until the device was removed, the patient died or the study was closed (30 June 2002).
RESULTS: No TIAP-related deaths were observed in this series. Seven pneumothoraxes (1.8%) occurred as a complication of TIAP placement, one patient only (0.2%) requiring a tube thoracostomy. Port pocket infection occurred twice in this series (0.53%, 0.01 episodes/1000 days of use), whereas three patients suffered from port-related bacteraemia (0.8%, 0.016/1000 days of use). Infections were successfully treated with antibiotics; all three cases had the ports removed at programme completion. Four cases of deep vein thrombosis were detected (1.06%, 0.022/1000 days of use); low molecular weight heparin was given, followed by oral anticoagulants. Finally, one case of extravasation occurred (0.26%, 0.005/1000 days of use), requiring port removal and local medical therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of TIAPs has resulted in a safe and effective option for high-dose chemotherapy deliverance and stem cell transplantation, in spite of inducing severe neutropenia and increasing the risk of sepsis in this category of oncology patient.
Division of General Surgery, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy. roberto.biffi@ieo.it