Neutropenia at the time of subcutaneous port insertion may not be a risk factor for early infectious complications in pediatric oncology patients
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BACKGROUND: The risk of infection associated with subcutaneous port (SQP) placement in patients with neutropenia remains unclear. We reviewed the rate of early infectious complications (<30 days) following SQP placement in pediatric oncology patients with or without neutropenia [absolute neutrophil count (ANC) <500/mm3]. METHODS: Baseline characteristics and infectious complications were compared between groups using univariate and multivariate analyses. RESULTS: A total of 614 SQP were placed in 542 patients. Compared to nonneutropenic patients, those with neutropenia were more likely to have leukemia (n = 74, 94% vs n = 268, 50%), preoperative fever (n = 17, 22% vs n = 25, 5%), recent documented infection (n = 15, 19% vs n = 47, 9%), and were younger (81 vs 109 months) (p values <0.01). After adjusting for fever and underlying-disease, there was a nonsignificant association between neutropenia and early postoperative infection (OR 2.42, 95% CI 0.82-7.18, p = 0.11). Only preoperative fever was a predictor of infection (OR 6.09, 95% CI 2.08-17.81, p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: SQP placement appears safe in most neutropenic patients. TYPE OF STUDY: Retrospective comparative study. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III.