Long-term, totally implantable central venous access ports connected to a Groshong catheter for chemotherapy of solid tumours: Experience from 178 cases using a single type of device

R. Biffi, F. Corrado, F. De Braud, F. De Lucia, D. Scarpa, A. Testori, F. Orsi, M. Bellomi, S. Mauri, M. Aapro, B. Andreoni

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The aim of this study was to examine the early and late complications rate of central venous access ports connected to the Groshong catheter for long-term chemotherapy delivering. All patients suffering from a neoplastic disease, who required long-term chemotherapy and underwent insertion of implantable ports during a 21-month period (1 October 1994-30 June 1996) were prospectively studied. A single type of port was used, constructed of titanium and silicone rubber (Dome Port(TM), Bard Inc., Salt Lake City, U.S.A.), connected to an 8 F silastic Groshong(TM) catheter tubing (Bard Inc.). A team of different operators (two general surgeons, one interventional radiologist and four anaesthesiologists) was involved in inserting the port. All devices were placed in the operating room under fluoroscopic control. A central venous access form was filled in by the operator after the procedure and all ports were followed prospectively for device-related and overall complications. Data from the follow-up of these patients were entered in the form and collected in a database. Follow-up continued until the device was removed, the patient died or the study was closed. 178 devices, comprising a total of 32 089 days in situ, were placed in 175 patients. Three patients received a second device after removal of the first. Adequate follow-up was obtained in all cases (median 180 days, range 4-559). 138 devices (77.5%) were still in situ when the study was closed. Early complications included six pneumothoraxes, three arterial punctures and two revisions for port and/or catheter malfunction (overall early complications in 8 patients). Late complications included 3 cases (1.68% of devices) of catheter rupture and embolisation (0.093 episodes/1000 days of use), 2 cases (1.12% of devices) of venous thrombosis (0.062 episodes/1000 days of use), 1 case (0.56% of devices) of pocket infection (0.031 episodes/1000 days of use). Infections were caused by coagulase-negative Staphylococcus aureus (4 cases) and Bacillus subtilis (1 case); the required port removal in 3 out of 5 cases. This study represents the largest published series of patients with totally implantable access ports connected to Groshong catheters; this device is a good option for long-term access to central veins and delivery of chemotherapeutic regimens, including continuous intravenous infusions. The low incidence of major complications related to implantation and management of these devices support increased use in oncology patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1194
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • Central venous catheters
  • Chemotherapy
  • Groshong catheter
  • Ports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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