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29.07.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2018

Supportive Care in Cancer 1/2018

Totally implantable venous access ports: a prospective long-term study of early and late complications in adult patients with cancer

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Eric Voog, Loïc Campion, Pauline du Rusquec, Hugues Bourgeois, Julien Domont, Fabrice Denis, Eric Emmanuel, Olivier Dupuis, Gérard Ganem, Cedrik Lafont, Katell Le Du, Elena Pavluc, Yohan Pointreau, Sophie Roche, Laurence Juhel-Voog, Marie Zinger, Philippe Solal-Celigny



Totally implantable venous access ports (TIVAP) have been widely used for many years in the management of patients suffering from cancer. The implantation and long-term use of TIVAPs are associated with mechanical, thrombotic, and infectious complications. This is the first exhaustive prospective study of all complications occurring in a whole population on long-term follow-up and therefore allows an objective assessment to be made of the safety of TIVAPs.


We carried out a prospective single-center observational study. All adult patients with cancer who had a TIVAP implanted between January 1 and December 31, 2006 were registered. Early and late complications were recorded until the removal of the device, the patient’s death, or until December 31, 2013. Exhaustive data concerning patients and TIVAP was recorded at time of implantation.


Four hundred and ninety-three TIVAPs were implanted in 483 adult cancer patients and were followed during a period from 1 to 94 months (median = 18 months) representing a global quantity of 367,359 catheter-days. Eighty-seven complications were recorded (0.237/1000 catheter-days), including 37 infections (0.101/1000 catheter-days), 17 thrombotic events (0.046/1000 catheter-days), and 9 extravasations. Out of the 87 events, 62 (71.3%) occurred during the first year after implantation. Events were therefore extremely rare after 1 year. Thromboembolic and infectious complications were rare and no risk factors for these were found.


This study demonstrates excellent tolerability, with only occasional complications. Most of these occurred during the year following implantation. A TIVAP may also be left in place for an extremely long time.

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