A pilot study of central venous catheter survival in cancer patients using low-molecular-weight heparin (dalteparin) and warfarin without catheter removal for the treatment of upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (The Catheter Study)

J Thromb Haemost. 2007 Aug;5(8):1650-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2007.02613.x. Epub 2007 May 7.


Background: Central venous catheters in patients with cancer are associated with development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT); however, there is no accepted standard treatment.

Objectives: To assess the safety and effectiveness of a management strategy for central venous catheter-related DVT in cancer patients consisting of dalteparin and warfarin without the need for line removal.

Patients/methods: Patients older than 18 years of age with an active malignancy and who had symptomatic, acute, objectively documented UEDVT were eligible. Patients were treated with dalteparin 200 IU kg(-1) per day for 5-7 days and warfarin with a target International Normalized Ratio of 2.0-3.0. Patients were followed for 3 months for recurrent venous thromboembolism, major hemorrhage and survival of the central venous catheter.

Results: There were 74 patients (48 males). The average age was 58 years. There were no episodes of recurrent venous thromboembolism and three (4%) major bleeds. No lines were removed because of infusion failure or recurrence/extension of DVT.

Conclusion: Treatment of UEDVTs secondary to central catheters in cancer patients with standard dalteparin/warfarin can allow the central line to remain in situ with little risk of line failure or recurrence/extension of the DVT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dalteparin / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Normalized Ratio
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications*
  • Venous Thrombosis / drug therapy*
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin
  • Dalteparin