Regional chemotherapy devices: Effect of experience and anatomy on complications

Kurtis A. Campbell, R. Cartland Burns, James V. Sitzmann, Pamela A. Lipsett, Louise B. Grochow, John E. Niederhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Purpose: Regional hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) devices have been used for 17 years, but reports of unacceptably high complication rates have led to controversy about their use. Inadequate or misdirected infusion has been reported to occur in up to 45% of patients. We evaluated whether surgeon experience or presence of variant arterial anatomy related to risk of coagulation. Materials and Methods: We reviewed 70 patients undergoing placement of HAI catheters. Surgeons were classed as experienced after 10 procedures and arterial anatomy was evaluated angiographically with confirmation at operation. Complications were categorized as technical (17%) or chemotherapy-related (16%). Results: Inexperienced surgeons had a technical complication rate of 37% (80% of the patients involved had standard anatomy), while experienced surgeons had a technical complication rate of 7% (P < .01). Experienced surgeons had no complications in patients with standard anatomy, while inexperienced surgeons had a 42% (eight of 19) complication rate in similar patients (P < .01). Conclusion: We conclude that technical complications are closely associated with surgeon experience and arterial anatomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-826
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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