May 1988

Infection Rates of Broviac-Hickman Catheters and Implantable Venous Devices

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases (Drs Wurzel and Rubin), Department of Pediatrics (Ms Halom), Schneider Children's Hospital of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY; the Health Sciences Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook (Dr Rubin); and the Health Sciences Center and Department of Preventive Medicine, State University of New York at Brooklyn (Dr Feldman).

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(5):536-540. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150050074036

• We retrospectively identified and prospectively followed up 62 patients with 78 venous-access catheters over a 30-month period (15 773 catheter-days) to compare infectious complications of Broviac-Hickman catheters (n=33) and totally implantable venous devices (n=45) in pediatric oncology patients. Demographic data and characteristics of catheter use were comparable for both groups. Significantly associated with the risk of a catheter-associated infection were (1) the percentage of time the patient was neutropenic and (2) a patient age of younger than 2 years. In the Broviac-Hickman catheter group, 14 catheter-associated infections occurred in 27% of patients using catheters for an infection rate of 0.21/100 catheter-days. In the implantable venous device group, 13 infections occurred in 24% of patients using catheters for an infection rate of 0.14/100 catheter-days. The relative risk of infection from Broviac-Hickman catheters compared with implantable venous devices was 1.5, which was not significant (95% confidence interval, 0.7 to 3.2). Thus, the incidence of infectious complications was comparable for both catheter types.

(AJDC 1988;142:536-540)