Placing of tunneled central venous catheters prior to induction chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 Aug;55(2):309-13. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22530.


Background: Tunneled central venous catheters (CVCs) are inevitable in children with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of CVC-related complications in children with ALL in relation to timing of catheter placement and type of catheter.

Procedure: All children hospitalized from January 2000 to March 2008 with newly diagnosed ALL and with double-lumen total implantable devices (TIDs) or tunneled external catheters (TEs) were included retrospectively. We only used data related to the patient's first catheter.

Results: We included 98 children; 35 received a TID and the remaining 63 received a TE. A total number of 29,566 catheter days and 93 catheter-associated blood stream infections (CABSI) was identified. We found a CABSI rate of 3.1/1,000 catheter days (5.4/1,000 catheter days for TEs and 1.4/1,000 catheter days for TIDs, incidence rate ratio (IRR) 3.82 (95% CI 2.37-6.35) P = 0.0001). No difference was found in CABSI between neither early versus later placed TIDs (IRR = 0.99 (95% CI 0.41-2.45) P = 0.98) nor early versus later placed TEs (IRR = 0.81 (95% CI 0.40-1.86) P = 0.54). We found no difference between early and later placed catheters regarding non-elective removal (RR = 0.86 (95% CI 0.72-1.03) P = 0.09). TEs had a higher risk of non-elective removal compared with TIDs (RR = 3.95 (95% CI 1.88-8.29) P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The study did not find that children with ALL and with early placed CVCs experienced significantly more complications compared with children with late placed catheters. This study found that children with ALL and TEs experienced more complications than children with TIDs.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Catheter-Related Infections / etiology*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors