Central venous device-related thrombosis as imaged with MDCT in oncologic patients: Prevalence and findings

Orlando Catalano, Elisabetta De Lutio Di Castelguidone, Claudia Sandomenico, Mario Petrillo, Pasquale Aprea, Vincenza Granata, Adolfo Gallipoli D'Errico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Venous thrombosis is a common occurrence in cancer patients, developing spontaneously or in combination with indwelling central venous devices (CVD). Purpose: To analyze the multidetector CT (MDCT) prevalence, appearance, and significance of catheterrelated thoracic venous thrombosis in oncologic patients and to determine the percentage of thrombi identified in the original reports. Material and Methods: Five hundred consecutive patients were considered. Inclusion criteria were: presence of a CVD; availability of a contrast-enhanced MDCT; and cancer history. Exclusion criteria were: direct tumor compression/infiltration of the veins; poor image quality; device tip not in the scanned volume; and missing clinical data. Seventeen (3.5%) out of the final 481 patients had a diagnosis of venous thrombosis. Results: Factors showing the highest correlation with thrombosis included peripherally-inserted CVD, right brachiocephalic vein tip location, patient performance status 3, metastatic stage disease, ongoing chemotherapy, and longstanding CVD. The highest prevalence was in patients with lymphoma, lung carcinoma, melanoma, and gynecologic malignancies. Eleven out of 17 cases had not been identified in the original report. Conclusion: CVD-related thrombosis is not uncommon in cancer patients and can also be observed in outpatients with a good performance status and a non-metastatic disease. Thrombi can be very tiny. Radiologists should be aware of the possibility to identify (or overlook) small thrombi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Cancer
  • Central venous device
  • Chest
  • Computed tomography
  • Thrombosis
  • Vein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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