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While implanted port catheters ("PORTs") have historically been the standard device for intravenous systemic anticancer therapy, the use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) has increased continuously and reliable catheter selection guidelines are lacking. We compare complication rates of PORTs and PICCs in cancer treatment in a retrospective study of 3365 patients with both solid organ (n = 2612) and hematologic (n = 753) malignancies, between 2001 and 2021. 26.4% (n = 890) of all patients were treated via PICCs and 73.6% (2475) via PORTs. 20.7% (578) experienced a major catheter-related complication with a higher rate in PICCs than in PORTs (23.5% vs 14.9%, P < .001). Among major complications, infections and mechanical complications were more common in PICCs than in PORTs (11.9% vs 6.4%, P = .001, 7.3% vs 4.2%, P = .002), whereas the rate of thrombosis was similar (3.4% vs 3.0%, P = .9). While PORTs had a higher rate of periprocedural complications (2.7% vs 1.1%, P < .05), PICCs overall complication rate exceeded PORTs within 3 days from implantation. Median follow-up was 49 (PICC) and 60 weeks (PORT). PORTs are safer and therefore should be preferred in this setting regardless of catheter dwell time. © 2023 The Authors. International Journal of Cancer published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of UICC.


Max J Rieger, Xenia Schenkel, Ivona Dedic, Tadeusz Brunn, Ralph Gnannt, Michael Hofmann, Olivier de Rougemont, Sebastian M Stolz, Wiebke Rösler, Jan-Dirk Studt, Stefan Balabanov, Andreas Wicki, Anja Lorch, Markus G Manz, Rahel Schwotzer. Complication rates of peripherally inserted central catheters vs implanted ports in patients receiving systemic anticancer therapy: A retrospective cohort study. International journal of cancer. 2023 Oct 01;153(7):1397-1405

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PMID: 37254629

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