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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 81

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

Etiology and treatment of chemotherapeutic agent extravasation injuries: a review.
Rudolph R, Larson DL
J Clin Oncol. 1987;5(7):1116.
While extravasation from intravenous (IV) lines is common and usually benign, leakage of certain drugs can cause severe skin ulceration. These ulcerogenic drugs can be conveniently divided into two categories, depending on whether they bind to DNA. Chemotherapeutic agents such as doxorubicin, which bind to DNA, are especially prone to cause severe extravasation skin ulcers. These ulcers are often chronic and progressive. Neither clinical nor experimental studies have shown an antidote to doxorubicin extravasation, which is best prevented by careful technique. If extravasation is suspected, the infusion should be immediately stopped. In the event of extravasation, elevation and ice are the currently recommended treatment. While small ulcerations may on occasion heal, large ulcerations require surgical excision for relief of pain and salvage of underlying tissues.