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August 1984

Thrombotic and Infectious Complications of Hickman-Broviac Catheters

Author Affiliations

From Stanford (Calif) University Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(8):1597-1599. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350200101015

• Hickman-Broviac catheters are often used when long-term venous access is required. Although generally safe, catheter-related thrombosis and infection are two of the most frequent and clinically important complications associated with their use. A 47-year-old woman with breast cancer had a Hickman catheter placed for chemotherapy; subsequently, the superior vena caval syndrome developed due to a large thrombus surrounding the catheter tip. A very low dose of streptokinase successfully lysed this clot within 12 hours. A 60-year-old woman with acute myelogenous leukemia had a Hickman catheter placed to facilitate induction and maintenance chemotherapy. Two episodes of catheter-related Staphylococcus epidermidis sepsis later developed, the first of which cleared without removal of the cannula.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1597-1599)

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