Maintaining Patency and Asepsis of Vascular Access Ports in Yucatan Miniature Swine

Kyle K. Henderson, Eric A. Mokelke, James R. Turk, R. Scott Rector, M. Harold Laughlin, Michael Sturek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Subcutaneous vascular access ports allow for convenient serial blood sampling and the injection of pharmaceutical agents. However, their use can be complicated by infections leading to access-site cellulitis, bacteremia, and septic thrombophlebitis. Therefore, the implementation of techniques limiting infection is indicated to enhance the welfare of the animal and the collection of valid data. We hypothesized that as demonstrated in some human studies, adding vancomycin to the heparinized solution filling the port and catheter would reduce complications associated with vascular access ports. Adding 1 mg/ ml vancomycin to the solution filling the port and catheter in Yucatan swine significantly reduced the rate of infections by 55% and doubled the duration of catheter patency. We also hypothesized that visualization of catheter placement and changing to a hydrocoated round-tipped polyurethane catheter would reduce the rate of complications. After appropriate changes in protocols were made, only one localized infection at a port site occurred in 10 pigs, and this infection was resolved with antibiotics. At necropsy, all ports and catheters were patent and free from the grossly apparent lesions typically associated with long-term vascular access ports. We conclude that the use of vancomycin in the port and catheter as well as optimizing the catheter type and placement reduce the complications typically observed with vascular access ports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalContemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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    Henderson, K. K., Mokelke, E. A., Turk, J. R., Rector, R. S., Laughlin, M. H., & Sturek, M. (2003). Maintaining Patency and Asepsis of Vascular Access Ports in Yucatan Miniature Swine. Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science, 42(6), 28-32.