In order to investigate new approaches in diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious complicating chemotherapy-induced granulocytopenia, we developed and prospectively evaluated a method of chronic central venous catheterization for the induction, maintenance and support of persistent granulocytopenia in rabbits. The method entails a central venous silastic catheter with a subcutaneous tunnel and a heparin lock device for repeated non-traumatic sampling of blood and administration of medications. During the course of 10 months, 226 rabbits were studied. Mean duration of catheter placement was 27 days, 17 of which were spent in granulocytopenia. Two-way flow was sustained throughout the duration of placement in 205 rabbits (91%) and for 5,845 (95%) of a total 6,163 catheter-days. All but two catheters could be flushed throughout the duration of their placement. Postoperative infectious complications related to catheter insertion developed in less than 1% of the rabbits. This method of chronic catheterization safely provides long-term venous access for studies requiring frequent venous access, including the painless induction, maintenance, and support of chronic granulocytopenia in rabbits.