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.