Thrombotic complications of silicone rubber catheters during autologous marrow and peripheral stem cell transplantation: Prospective comparison of Hickman and Groshong catheters

W. D. Haire, R. P. Lieberman, G. B. Lund, J. A. Edney, A. Kessinger, James Olen Armitage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Scopus citations


Thrombosis is common after placement of silicone rubber subclavian vein catheters in patients with malignancy receiving conventional doses of chemotherapy. To determine the incidence of this complication in marrow transplant patients and the effect of different catheter designs on thrombosis rates, patients were randomized to receive either open-ended Hickman catheters or valve-ended Groshong catheters for venous access during the transplantation procedure. A total of 35 catheters were placed, of which 23 were double-lumen (11 Groshong and 12 Hickman) and 12 were single-lumen (six Groshong and six Hickman). Arm venograms were performed on all patients at the time of hematopoietic recovery or occurrence of symptoms of subclavian vein thrombosis. There were 10 cases of total subclavian vein thrombosis (three were symptomatic) and 12 cases of asymptomatic non-occlusive mural thrombi. Only 13 normal veins were found. There was no difference in thrombosis rate between the Hickman and Groshong catheters. Double lumen catheters tended to be more likely to cause total venous occlusion (nine of 23) than single lumen catheters (one of 12) (p = 0.06, Fisher's exact test). We conclude that subclavian vein thrombosis is a common occurrence after placement of silicone rubber catheters for venous access during marrow transplantation. Most cases are asymptomatic. Groshong catheters are just as likely to cause this complication as Hickman catheters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-59
Number of pages3
JournalBone marrow transplantation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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