Central venous catheter with subcutaneous injection port (Port-A-Cath): 8 years clinical follow up with children

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. Jul-Sep 1993;10(3):233-9. doi: 10.3109/08880019309029489.


Long-term intermittent venous access was established in 77 children by means of a central venous catheter (CVC) with a subcutaneous injection port (Port-A-Cath; PAC). Seventy of these children were included in this follow-up study. Sixty-three were treated for different malignant diseases, five for cystic fibrosis, one for severe hemophilia and one for central nervous system disease with seizures as the main problem. As of April, 1992, PACs had been in place for 3/12 to 8 3/12 years (cumulative 175 5/12 years) with 2,206 entries into the system. The PACs were used for blood sampling and administration of chemotherapy, antibiotics, fluids, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and blood products. Portal infection was observed in four patients of which two patients had their PAC removed. Catheter dislocation was observed in two and catheter breakage in one. Portal occlusion, extravasation, thrombosis leading to removal of the PAC or other technical or psychological complications were not observed. The children continued normal activities, and the easy venous access decreased emotional stress during treatment. Local doctors were trained to use PACs, through which they administered maintenance chemotherapy. We conclude that long-time use of PACs in children is safe and has many advantages compared to traditional CVCs in use. Strict indications, meticulous implantation techniques and adequate handling are, however, mandatory.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Specimen Collection / instrumentation
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation*
  • Catheters, Indwelling* / adverse effects
  • Catheters, Indwelling* / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Equipment Contamination / statistics & numerical data
  • Equipment Failure / statistics & numerical data
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infections / etiology
  • Injections, Subcutaneous / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Thrombosis / etiology