Document Type



Paediatric Surgery; Surgery


Objective: To assess the frequency of infection of portacath in children having malignant tumours and undergoing chemotherapy, and to assess the association of the infection with already known risk factors.
Methods: The retrospective review was conducted at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and involved patient data related to the period between January 2005 to December 2010. A questionnaire was designed to collect the required data. A total of 67 children were included having portacath inserted for chemotherapy. Children in which portacath was inserted under local anaesthesia in Radiology department, reinserted or inserted because of a reason other than childhood malignancy were excluded. SPSS 19 was used for statistical analysis.
Results: Of the total, 46 (67%) patients were males and a majority of the total (n = 31; 46%) was between 6-10 years of age. Besides, 42 (63%) patients had leukaemia, 7 (11%) had lymphoma and 18 (26%) had various solid tumours. Six (8.95%) ports were removed due to infection. There was significant difference between infection and non-infection groups with respect to absolute neutrophilic count levels (p < 0.001). Positive association was found between low absoulute neutrophilic count level (< or = 500) and the occurrence of port infection.
Conclusions: Port infection rate is higher in children with low absoulute neutrophilic count. The issue needs to be addressed and one may have to alter the timings of port insertion. It is recommended to insert port when absolute neutrophilic count is normal. To further evaluate the subject, a multicentre trial must be conducted.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association