Complications of infusion treatment with emphasis on extravasation of cytostatics

Harisi Revekka
Egyesített Szent István és Szent László Kórház-Rendelőintézet, Onkológiai Osztály, Budapest

The extravasation of cytostatics is the most signifi cant complication of infusion therapy in cancer treatment. Extravasation refers to the inadvertent infi ltration of cytostatic drugs into subcutaneous or subdermal tissues surrounding the intravenous or intraarterial administration site. According to literature data incidence estimates between 0,01–7%. Extravasated drugs are classified according to their potential for causing damage as vesicant, irritant and nonvesicant. Knowledge of risk factors, the patientrelated and treatment-related ones is important to minimize the occurrence of extravasation. In order to reduce the risk of extravasation, the staff involved in the tumor infusion therapy must be specially trained to implement several preventive and therapeutical protocols. In 2012, ESMO-EONS has put together a new comprehensive treatment protocol on the topic of cytostatics extravasation. Protocol recommended that every oncological department, who administers chemotherapy have to have extravasation trained team and a standby extravasation kit. According to the new ESMO-EONS guideline subcutaneous corticoids are not recommended, anymore. In case of mechloretamine extravasation the recommendation is immediate subcutaneous injection of sodium thiosulfate. After extravasation of anthracyclines, mitomycin C and platin salts the best treatment opportunity is subcutan dimethyl sulfoxide administration. In case of anthracyclines’ extravasation intravenous dexrazoxane treatment is also effective. Hyaluronidase, injected into or under the skin, facilitates absorption of extravasated drugs because of increases connective tissue permeability, promotes the spreading and reduces the local concentration of the extravasated citostatic agents. Hyaluronidase might be efficacious in preventing skin necrosis by extravasation due to vinca alkaloids. The treatment of unresolved tissue necrosis or pain lasting more than 10 days is surgical debridement. Because of the medical and juristic importance of the extravasation event, it is necessary to establish uniform guidelines for treatment of extravasation, in all Hungarian Oncological Centers.

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