Implantable vascular access systems: experience in 1500 patients with totally implanted central venous port systems

World J Surg. 1998 Jan;22(1):12-6. doi: 10.1007/s002689900342.


Totally implantable venous access systems are widely used, but large-scale studies evaluating these systems are lacking. In this study 1500 patients (719 male, 781 female) with an average age of 49 years (15-86 years) were fitted with subcutaneously implanted venous access systems, in most cases for long-term chemotherapy. All patients were observed until removal of the system, death, or the end of treatment. A retrospective analysis showed an average catheter life of 284 patient-days. A total of 1308 (87%) of the patients had no implant-related complications. Catheter infections occurred in 3.2% of the patients and catheter thromboses in 2.5%. Rarer complications, such as catheter malfunction, migration of the catheter, skin necrosis, catheter fracture, catheter disconnection, and pneumothorax, occurred in another 4.3% of the patients. The complications led to explantation of 178 access systems (11.9%). There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the low rate of infections and other complications in the group of patients with solid tumors (2% and 4%, respectively) and the rate in patients with hematologic diseases (6% and 8%, respectively). This study confirms the safety and convenience of using totally implantable venous access systems in patients on long-term chemotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Catheters, Indwelling* / adverse effects
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombosis / etiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents