Purpose: Asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a complication of central venous catheter (CVC) use in children with cancer, but its clinical significance is not well defined. Children with CVCs commonly experience two other CVC-related complications: occlusion and infection. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of these two complications and their association with DVT. Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients who were diagnosed with cancer. Data collected included number and type of catheter insertions, duration of use, reason for removal, associated catheter complications, and demographic information. Results: Catheters were placed in 287 patients for a total of 128,403 days (mean, 290 ± 269 days/catheter). Of 21 patients (7%) diagnosed with CVC-related DVT, only five had specific signs or symptoms. Nineteen (90%) of these 21 children had prior history of catheter occlusion, and 10 of the 19 also experienced infection. Ten children (48%) were not identified as having DVT until they had had multiple catheters with recurrent complications. Odds of having DVT were higher in patients who had a single catheter complicated by repeated occlusions (odds ratio [OR], 3.7; P = .001) or infection (OR, 2.2; P = .016). Patients experiencing both infection and occlusion were at 6.4 times (P < .0001) higher risk of developing DVT. Conclusion: Children with CVC-related DVT frequently have recurrent catheter complications. Unrecognized thrombosis may therefore be clinically important. Prospective studies are needed to determine if identification and treatment of occult DVT will prevent additional CVC-related complications and prolong the duration of catheter use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research