Patients undergoing autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSC) frequently require the sequential insertion of two central venous catheters, one for leukapheresis and one for transplant support. Hybrid catheters suitable for leukapheresis and long-term use have been increasingly used, but there is limited information regarding their performance and complication rate. The purpose of this study was to determine the performance of the Pheres-Flow hybrid catheter when utilized for both leukapheresis and transplant support, with particular emphasis on the incidence of infectious and occlusive complications. We prospectively analyzed the performance of 92 catheters in 82 consecutive patients who underwent autologous peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplantation. Occlusion was the most frequent complication of this catheter with 29% of the patients experiencing difficulty drawing blood or infusing fluids. Infection was another frequent complication. Twenty-two percent of patients developed catheter-related bloodstream infections and 15 catheters had to be removed because of proven or suspected infection that did not respond to antibiotic therapy. Nevertheless, 77% of patients were able to complete leukapheresis and transplant support with only one catheter. We conclude that the utilization of the Pheres-Flow catheter for both leukapheresis and transplant support is feasible, but that new strategies need to be developed to decrease the incidence of occlusive and infectious complications of hybrid catheters.
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
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