Purpose: to compare complication rates in patients who have port-a-catheters inserted and left accessed for immediate use and those who have ports inserted but not accessed. Methods: In this retrospective, IRB-approved study, medical records of patients who received a port catheter between 9/2009 and 2/2010 were reviewed. The data collected included patient demographics, diagnosis, procedure and complications. The patients were categorized into two groups: accessed (patients in whom the port was accessed with a Huber needle for immediate intravenous use and the patient left the procedure area with needle indwelling) and control (patients in whom the ports were not accessed). Complications were classified according to Society of Interventional Radiology guidelines. Results are given as mean ±SD. Statistical analysis was performed with student t test and statistical significance was considered at P<.05. Results: A total of 467 ports were placed in 465 patients (Men: 206); 10.7% in the accessed group (n=50, age: 60±13.9) and 89.3% in the control group (n=417, age: 59±13.5). There were no statistically significant differences in patient demographics between the groups. The overall complication rate was 0.6% (n=3). Two complications (hematoma causing skin necrosis and thrombosis of the port) occurred in the control group and one (infection) in the accessed group. Infection rates after procedures were 2% (1/50) in the accessed group and 0% (0/417) in the control group. There was no statistically significant difference in overall complication (P=.1) and infection (P=.1) rates among the groups. Conclusions: Leaving the port accessed immediately after placement does not increase the risk of infection or other complications.
- Catheter-related infection
- Central venous catheterization
- Interventional radiology
- Vascular access
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