Incidence of thrombotic complications in patients with haematological malignancies with central venous catheters: A prospective multicentre study

Agostino Cortelezzi, Marco Moia, Anna Falanga, Enrico M. Pogliani, Giancarlo Agnelli, Erminio Bonizzoni, Gualberto Gussoni, Tiziano Barbui, Pier Mannuccio Mannucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This prospective, observational and multicentre study assessed the incidence of, and risk factors for, symptomatic venous thrombotic complications after central venous catheter (CVC) positioning in patients with haematological malignancies. A total of 458 consecutive CVC insertions were registered in 416 patients (81-2% of whom had severe thrombocytopenia). Over the observation period (3 months or up to catheter removal), the incidence of events was: CVC-related deep vein thrombosis (DVT), 1.5%; lower limb DVT, 0.4%; pulmonary embolism (PE), 1.3%; fatal PE, 0.6%; CVC-related superficial thrombophlebitis, 3.9%; CVC-occlusion/malfunction of thrombotic origin, 6.1%; major arterial events, 1.1%. Severe bleeding and CVC-related infections were observed in 3.5% and 4.6% of cases respectively. A composite end point (any venous thromboembolism or superficial thrombophlebitis or CVC occlusion/malfunction) was defined in order to consider venous thrombotic events with a significant impact on clinical practice. With this criterion, the overall incidence was 12.0% (2.54 cases/1000 catheter days). No factor helped to predict venous thrombotic complications: only thrombocytopenia was associated with a weak trend for a reduced risk (odds ratio 0.52; 95% confidence interval 0.26-1.07). No severe bleeding was observed in those patients who received antithrombotic prophylaxis. This study shows that the impact on clinical practice of symptomatic CVC-related thrombotic complications is not negligible in patients with haematological malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-817
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005



  • Antithrombotic prophylaxis
  • Central venous catheter
  • Haematological malignancies
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this