Continuous infusion with implantable pumps: expanding the radiologist's role

B. Damascelli, M. G. Bonalumi, A. Marchianò, C. Spreafico, F. Garbagnati, A. Amadeo, M. Salvetti, L. F. Frigerio, G. Piragine, A. Cesa Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drug infusion systems attract increasing attention as biomedical technology offers miniaturized devices for targeted delivery of therapeutic substances on an outpatient basis. We have used a totally implantable, subcutaneous pump, externally programmable by radiofrequency link, learning the technique of implantation and management and using various imaging modalities for the diagnosis and control of complications. The procedure for implanting systems for continuous intrathecal analgesia and systemic intravenous chemotherapy is described. Our experience of the latter is made up of 296 implants in 290 patients. The selected infusion pump proved reliable and acceptable to patients and the quality of life, given the reduced drug toxicity, more than good. The complications were few both in frequency and in severity. The setting-up of a long-term infusion system, when major surgery is not needed, can fall within the interventional radiologist's field, partly because of a good cost-benefit ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-194
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Chemotherapy, implant
  • Interventional radiology, Central vein catheterization
  • Interventional radiology, chemotherapy
  • Interventional radiology, intrathecal infusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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