Highlights
  • Port insertion is a well-tolerated alternative to chest ports for long-term venous access.

  • Insertion into the brachial vein had the lowest incidence of complications.

  • Venous thrombosis was increased using the MedComp, Dignity Mini port.

Abstract
Background:

Totally implanted venous access devices, or ports, are safe and durable, allowing for long-term venous access. Port insertion in the upper extremity is associated with high rates of technical success and few complications. This retrospective review evaluates complication rates of power injectable ports in the upper arm preformed at a tertiary academic institution.

Methods:

A single center retrospective review of all patients undergoing arm port implantation between October 1, 2017, and January 30, 2019, were included. A minimum of 11 months of data was reviewed for each subject. A total of 165 subjects were initially enrolled.

Results:

The most frequent indication for port insertion was malignancy (n = 157). Port insertion technical success rate was 99.4%. There was no significant difference in port-related complications by gender, malignancy, clinical indication for placement, or arm used for implantation. Rates of infection (5.5%), mechanical malfunction (6.7%), device removal (10%) and arterial injury (0%) were similar to previously reported values. The rate of port-related venous thrombosis was 8.6%, exceeding previously reported values.

Conclusion:

Venous thrombosis was increased using this arm port. The polyurethane catheter material may play a role in this. Further work is warranted to investigate venous thrombosis for this device that incorporates information about insertion vein size and insertion vein characteristics.

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