Background Intravenous ports are widely used for oncology patients. However, catheter fractures may lead to the need for re-intervention. We aimed to identify the risk factors associated with catheter fractures. Methods Between January 1 and December 31, 2006, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data and plain chest films of 1,505 patients implanted with an intravenous port at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Different vascular sites were compared using the chi-square or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables, and the t test was used for continuous variables with normal distribution; P<0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results There were 59 and 1,448 procedures in the fracture and non-fracture groups, respectively. Monovariate analysis revealed that the risk factors for catheter fracture were as follows: large angle (P<0.0001), female gender (P<0.0008), subclavian route (P<0.0001), and port type Arrow French (Fr.) 8.1 (P\0.0001). Because these risk factors showed no interaction effects, they were all considered independent risk factors. When all factors were considered together, all risk factors, except angle and age, retained their statistical significance. Conclusions Most catheter fractures were caused by material weakness. If catheter fracture is confirmed, further intervention for port and catheter removal is recommended. Female gender, intravenous port implantation via the subclavian route, and the Arrow Fr. 8.1 port were found to be risk factors. Patients with these risk factors should be monitored closely to avoid catheter fractures.
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