Dislodgement of port-A catheters in pediatric oncology patients: 11 years of experience

Su Chen Wang, Chia Hui Tsai, Chiu Ping Hou, Shin Yi Lee, Sheung Fat Ko, Chih Chen Hsiao, Yu Chieh Chen, Jiin Haur Chuang, Jiunn Ming Sheen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Port-A catheters are frequently used in pediatric cancer patients. Their dislodgement is potentially seriously risky although the incidence is not high. We analyzed our 11 years of data to address this important problem.Methods: From January 2001 to December 2011, 330 port-A catheters of different brands were implanted in pediatric cancer patients. In total, eight children suffered a dislodgement of their catheter. Their ages ranged from four to thirteen years, with a median age of ten. Five patients presented with catheter dysfunction, two presented with a cough and one was identified incidentally during surgery to remove his port.Results: The downstream ends of the dislodged catheters were located in the right atrium (three patients), left pulmonary artery (three) and inferior vena cava (two). Six of the eight catheters were broken at the site of anastomosis to the port and the other two were broken halfway in between. All episodes of dislodgement happened after the chemotherapy regimen was completed. The dislodged catheters were successfully retrieved without complications by transcatheter retrieval using a gooseneck snare.Conclusions: The dislodgment rate of port-A catheter in our series was 2.4%. Chest X-rays can rapidly detect the problem. Most of the catheters were broken at the site of anastomosis. Earlier explantation of port-A catheters after completing chemotherapy may be considered to avoid the dislodgement of catheters, but this needs to be weighed against the possibility of underlying disease recurrence. However, we should re-examine how long port-A catheters need to be retained after chemotherapy considering the improved cure rate of pediatric cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number191
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
StatePublished - 13 08 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Dislodgement
  • Port-A catheter
  • Transcatheter retrieval


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