Infection rates of Broviac-Hickman catheters and implantable venous devices

Am J Dis Child. 1988 May;142(5):536-40. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150050074036.


We retrospectively identified and prospectively followed up 62 patients with 78 venous-access catheters over a 30-month period (15773 catheter-days) to compare infectious complications of Broviac-Hickman catheters (n = 33) and totally implantable. venous devices (n = 45) in pediatric oncology patients. Demographic data and characteristics of catheter use were comparable for both groups. Significantly associated with the risk of a catheter-associated infection were (1) the percentage of time the patient was neutropenic and (2) a patient age of younger than 2 years. In the Broviac-Hickman catheter group, 14 catheter-associated infections occurred in 27% of patients using catheters for an infection rate of 0.21/100 catheter-days. In the implantable venous device group, 13 infections occurred in 24% of patients using catheters for an infection rate of 0.14/100 catheter-days. The relative risk of infection from Broviac-Hickman catheters compared with implantable venous devices was 1.5, which was not significant (95% confidence interval, 0.7 to 3.2). Thus, the incidence of infectious complications was comparable for both catheter types.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infections / etiology*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / etiology