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Complications associated with use of subcutaneous vascular access ports in cats and dogs undergoing fractionated radiotherapy: 172 cases (1996–2007)

William T. N. Culp VMD, DACVS1, Philipp D. Mayhew BVSc, DACVS2, Michael S. Reese VMD3, Lili Duda VMD, MBE, DACVR4, Mathieu M. Glassman VMD5, and Dorothy C. Brown DVM, DACVS6
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

Objective—To describe complications associated with use of a subcutaneous vascular access port (SVAP) in cats and dogs treated with fractionated radiotherapy and to determine predisposing factors for developing these complications.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—46 cats and 126 dogs.

Procedures—The medical records of cats and dogs undergoing radiation therapy that received placement of an SVAP between March 1996 and August 2007 were reviewed. Data were recorded and analyzed to determine factors for development of complications associated with the use of an SVAP during treatment with fractionated radiotherapy.

Results—18 and 36 major and minor complications were identified, respectively. Sex and the lack of administration of propofol during anesthesia induction were significantly associated with development of major complications. Female cats and dogs were 5.00 times as likely as male cats and dogs to develop major complications associated with SVAP usage. Animals in which propofol was not administered were 19.15 times as likely as animals administered propofol to develop major complications. Placement of SVAP catheters in a femoral vein was 17.20 times as likely as placement in the jugular vein to result in minor complications.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Factors associated with the development of complications included sex, propofol administration, and vein in which an SVAP catheter was inserted. The use of an SVAP may be a useful alternative to repeated catheterizations in cats and dogs.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Culp's present address is Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Dr. Mayhew's present address is Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Dr. Glassman's present address is Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Presented in abstract form at the Veterinary Cancer Society Meeting, Seattle, October 2008.

Address correspondence to Dr. Culp (wculp@ucdavis.edu).