Sao Paulo Medical Journal
Print version ISSN 1516-3180
WOLOSKER, Nelson et al. Totally implantable venous catheters for chemotherapy: experience in 500 patients. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2004, vol.122, n.4, pp. 147-151. ISSN 1516-3180. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-31802004000400003.
CONTEXT: Totally implantable devices are increasingly being utilized for chemotherapy treatment of oncological patients, although few studies have been done in our environment to analyze the results obtained from the implantation and utilization of such catheters. OBJECTIVE: To study the results obtained from the implantation of totally implantable catheters in patients submitted to chemotherapy. TYPE OF STUDY: Prospective. SETTING: Hospital do Câncer A.C. Camargo, São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS: 519 totally implantable catheters were placed in 500 patients submitted to chemotherapy, with preference for the use of the right external jugular vein. Evaluations were made of the early and late-stage complications and patient evolution until removal of the device, death or the end of the treatment. RESULTS: The prospective analysis showed an average duration of 353 days for the catheters. There were 427 (82.2%) catheters with no complications. Among the early complications observed, there were 15 pathway hematomas, 8 cases of thrombophlebitis of the distal stump of the external jugular vein and one case of pocket infection. Among the late-stage complications observed, there were 43 infectious complications (0.23/1000 days of catheter use), 11 obstructions (0.06/1000 days of catheter use) and 14 cases of deep vein thrombosis (0.07/1000 days of catheter use). Removal of 101 catheters was performed: 35 due to complications and 66 upon terminating the treatment. A total of 240 patients died while the catheter was functioning and 178 patients are still making use of the catheter. CONCLUSION: The low rate of complications obtained in this study confirms the safety and convenience of the use of totally implantable accesses in patients undergoing prolonged chemotherapy regimes.
Keywords : Infection; Thrombosis; Catheterization; Central venous catheterization; Drug therapy.