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Use of vascular access ports in femoral veins of dogs and cats with cancer

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate long-term function of vascular access ports (VAPs) implanted in the femoral vein of dogs and cats undergoing cancer treatment.

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—3 dogs and 6 cats treated via chemotherapy or radiation.

Procedures—VAPs were surgically implanted in the left femoral vein of 3 dogs and 6 cats over a 1-year period. Injection port location was alternated to either a caudal thoracic or ilial location in each patient. Duration of VAP function, ease of infusion, and ease of aspiration through the VAPs were recorded, and associated complications were assessed at each VAP use. Client satisfaction with VAP placement was evaluated by use of a questionnaire.

Results—Primary uses of the VAPs included blood sampling and delivering sedative or chemotherapeutic drugs. Median duration of successful infusion was 147 days (range, 60 to 370 days), and median duration of successful aspiration was 117 days (range, 10 to 271 days). The frequency of signs of VAP-related discomfort was low (7% of patient observations). Clients were satisfied with their decision to use VAPs. Complications included partial (n = 7) or complete (2) VAP occlusion, port migration (1), and presumptive infection (1).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that VAP implantation into the femoral vein provides an acceptable means of chronic venous access in dogs and cats undergoing cancer treatment.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate long-term function of vascular access ports (VAPs) implanted in the femoral vein of dogs and cats undergoing cancer treatment.

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—3 dogs and 6 cats treated via chemotherapy or radiation.

Procedures—VAPs were surgically implanted in the left femoral vein of 3 dogs and 6 cats over a 1-year period. Injection port location was alternated to either a caudal thoracic or ilial location in each patient. Duration of VAP function, ease of infusion, and ease of aspiration through the VAPs were recorded, and associated complications were assessed at each VAP use. Client satisfaction with VAP placement was evaluated by use of a questionnaire.

Results—Primary uses of the VAPs included blood sampling and delivering sedative or chemotherapeutic drugs. Median duration of successful infusion was 147 days (range, 60 to 370 days), and median duration of successful aspiration was 117 days (range, 10 to 271 days). The frequency of signs of VAP-related discomfort was low (7% of patient observations). Clients were satisfied with their decision to use VAPs. Complications included partial (n = 7) or complete (2) VAP occlusion, port migration (1), and presumptive infection (1).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that VAP implantation into the femoral vein provides an acceptable means of chronic venous access in dogs and cats undergoing cancer treatment.

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Norfolk Vet Products for donating the vascular access ports, Huber needles, and tunneling trocars.

Address correspondence to Dr. Rassnick.