Monthly recombinant tissue plasminogen activator administration to implantable central venous access devices decreases infections in children with haemophilia

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Central venous access devices (CVAD) have been effectively used in the care of haemophilia patients. This is particularly true in children, who often have difficult venous access. CVAD complications (infection and thrombosis), risk factors, and complication rates, have been well-documented. However, effective interventions which decrease complication rates have not been identified. In this study, we review our experience with the use of monthly recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) administration in haemophilia patients with fully implanted CVADs. Data on 19 haemophilia patients with 24 CVADs were available for analysis, with a total of 24 520 CVAD days. An infection rate of 0.04 infections per 1000 CVAD days and a thrombosis rate of 0.04 thrombi per 1000 CVAD days was observed. The observed infectious complication rate is at least one logarithm lower than many published CVAD infection rates in haemophilia patients who have not received rtPA administration. No bleeding complications were noted. Monthly rtPA is safe and appears to be effective in decreasing CVAD infection rates. Larger, randomized controlled studies are indicated to validate this finding.

Keywords: catheters; central venous access device; haemophilia; infections; tissue plasminogen activator

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departments of Paediatrics

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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