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Interventional radiology in the provision and maintenance of long-term central venous access

S M Lyon, M Given, N L Marshall
Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology 2008, 52 (1): 10-7
Establishing and maintaining venous access forms an increasing proportion of the workload in interventional radiology. Several patient groups require medium-term to long-term venous catheters for a variety of purposes, including chemotherapy, long-term antimicrobials, parenteral nutrition, short-term access for haemodialysis or exhausted haemodialysis. Often, these catheters are required for treatment and frequent blood testing, which can quickly exhaust the peripheral veins. Long-term venous access devices minimize the discomfort of frequent cannulation while preserving the peripheral veins. Venous access devices include implantable catheters (ports), tunnelled catheters and peripherally inserted central catheters, which have different functions, advantages and limitations. Imaging-guided placement is the preferred method of insertion in many institutions because of higher success rates and radiologists are well suited to address catheter complications.

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