Thrombotic complications associated with the use of central venous catheters (CVCs) are common and lead to distressing patient symptoms, catheter dysfunction, increased risk of infections, long-term central venous stenosis, and considerable costs of care. Risk factors for catheter-related thrombosis include use of larger, multilumen, and peripherally inserted catheters in patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy. Symptomatic catheter-related thrombosis is treated with anticoagulation, generally without removing the catheter. The intensity and duration of anticoagulation depend on the extent of thrombosis, risk of bleeding, and need for continued use of a CVC. To date, the clinical benefit of prophylactic doses of anticoagulant has been disappointing and these agents are not used routinely for this purpose. This chapter focuses on recent evidence, remaining controversies, and practical approaches to reducing the burden of thrombosis associated with CVCs.
© 2014 by The American Society of Hematology. All rights reserved.