Long-term vascular access for infants with moderate to severe osteogenesis imperfecta

Pediatr Surg Int. 2021 Nov;37(11):1621-1625. doi: 10.1007/s00383-021-04975-2. Epub 2021 Aug 10.


Purpose: Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder that causes skeletal fragility. For the most fragile infants and young children with OI, intravenous (IV) bisphosphonate administration is essential, but IV access attempts often cause fractures. Port-a-caths help prevent these events, but some surgeons are hesitant to insert these devices in these infants due to lack of data on their safety.

Methods: Retrospective study of pediatric patients with OI who underwent port-a-cath placement from 1999 to 2018; incidence of complications such as infection and thrombosis and need for reoperation or replacement are described.

Results: Port-a-caths were placed in 17 patients with OI (median age, 8 mos [5-23 mos]; median weight, 5.8 kg [3.96-9.08 kg]) and remained in place for a median of 53.5 mos (10-127 mos). One port-a-cath was replaced because of thrombosis. Two port-a-caths were removed because of malfunction, one for skin erosion, and one for infection. In these five cases, replacement was not needed because patients could safely tolerate IV access. Two patients have their port-a-cath in place and the remaining ten patients had theirs removed electively as it was no longer needed.

Conclusion: Port-a-cath placement in pediatric patients with OI is safe and efficacious for durable central access, enabling reliable IV bisphosphonate delivery and reducing iatrogenic trauma.

Keywords: Bisphosphonates; Osteogenesis imperfect; Port-a-cath; Surgery; Venous access.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta* / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombosis*
  • Vascular Access Devices*