Comparison of peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICC) versus subcutaneously implanted port-chamber catheters by complication and cost for patients receiving chemotherapy for non-haematological malignancies

G. S. Patel, K. Jain, R. Kumar, A. H. Strickland, L. Pellegrini, J. Slavotinek, M. Eaton, W. McLeay, T. Price, M. Ly, S. Ullah, B. Koczwara, G. Kichenadasse, C. S. Karapetis

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Purpose: Indwelling central venous catheters (CVCs) have been increasingly used to enable delivery of intravenous chemotherapy. We aimed to compare the safety and cost of two commonly used CVCs, peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICCs) and ports, in the delivery of chemotherapy in patients with non-haematological malignancies. Methods: Seventy patients were randomly assigned to receive either a PICC or a port. The primary endpoint was occurrence of major complications, which required removal of the CVC and secondary endpoints included occurrence of any complications. Results: Port devices were associated with fewer complications compared with PICC lines (hazard ratio of 0.25, CI, 0.09-0.86, P = 0.038). Major complication rate was lower in the port arm compared to the PICC arm (0.047 versus 0.193 major complications/100 catheter days, P = 0.034) with 6 versus 20 % of patients experiencing major complications, respectively. Thrombosis, the most common complication, was significantly higher in the PICC arm compared to the port arm (25 versus 0 %, P = 0.013). Quality of life and cost estimates did not differ significantly between the two arms. Conclusions: Port devices are associated with a lower risk of complications, with no difference in cost, compared to PICC lines in patients with non-haematological malignancies receiving intravenous chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2014


  • Central venous catheter
  • Complication
  • Cost
  • Non-haematological malignancy/cancer
  • Peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC)
  • Port

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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