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Thrombosis and infections associated with PICC in onco-hematological patients, what is their relevance?

PURPOSE: Peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICC) in the onco-hematological patients may be associated with thrombosis or infections that may have short- to medium-term repercussions.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Single-centre retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected cohort. Primary objective was to establish the PICC-thrombosis and infections incidence. Secondary objectives were to analyze profile of patients suffering from these complications and variables associated with an increased likelihood of developing these events.

RESULTS: 549 patients were recruited. 58.5% (n = 321) were oncology patients and 41.5% (n = 228) hematology patients. The incidence of PICC-associated thrombosis was 3.5% (n = 19). Thrombosis was associated with progression of the underlying malignant pathology in 10.6% (n = 2) of cases. No association was found between clinical variables analysed and development of thrombosis. Incidence of PICC-associated infections was 7.65% (n = 42). In the 30 days prior to PICC infection, 57.1% (n = 24) had a febrile syndrome of another focus, 73.8% (n = 11) had been hospitalized, 49.5% (n = 25) had a neutrophil count of 0-500 cells/mm3 and 47.6% (n = 20) had an episode of neutropenic fever. Variables significantly associated with the development of infection were hematological patients, high-flow PICC, 3-lm PICC or PICC insertion because of administration of vesicant therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Incidence of PICC-associated thrombosis is low and apparently less prognostically aggressive than other forms of thrombosis associated with cancer, without identify predictive factors. Infection was more prevalent and the identification of risk factors in our series could facilitate its prevention.

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