Infectious Complications of Hepatic Artery Catheterization Procedures in Patients With Cancer

Rev Infect Dis. Jul-Aug 1991;13(4):583-6. doi: 10.1093/clinids/13.4.583.


A total of 353 hepatic artery catheterization procedures were carried out in 211 patients with cancer over a 1-year period (January-December 1988). The procedures included 49 embolizations in 32 patients, 123 chemoembolizations in 73 patients, and 181 chemoinfusions in 106 patients. The overall infection rate was 3.4%. Infectious complications occurred in 3.1% of patients undergoing hepatic artery embolization alone, 1.9% of patients undergoing hepatic artery chemoinfusion, and 4.1% of patients undergoing hepatic artery embolization followed by chemoinfusion. Four patients had infectious complications that included four episodes each of cholangitis, liver abscess, and septicemia. One patient developed a subphrenic abscess in addition to a liver abscess. Enteric gram-negative bacilli (aerobic and anaerobic) were isolated from all four patients. None of the patients had received prophylactic antibiotics. All patients responded to antimicrobial therapy and percutaneous drainage of abscesses.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / etiology*
  • Catheterization*
  • Cholangitis / etiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Hepatic Artery
  • Humans
  • Liver Abscess / etiology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome