To survey catheter complications and to analyze catheter survival during long-term intraperitoneal and intravenous insulin therapy with an implanted programmable pump with a sideport.
Catheter occlusions were documented by measuring dynamic catheter resistance. Catheter migrations or breaks were demonstrated by × ray. When flushing the catheter with buffer solution through the sideport failed to clear the occlusion, catheters were replaced or laparoscopy was performed for the excision of fibrous tissue growth. Broken or migrated catheters were replaced.
Occlusions were the most common catheter complications, and the majority of them (79% intraperitoneal and 84% intravenous) were cleared by flushing the catheter. Survival at 3 years was significantly higher for intraperitoneal catheters compared with intravenous catheters (60% intraperitoneal and 22% intravenous).
Nonsurgical management of catheter occlusions contributed to extend catheter lifetime. Intraperitoneal catheters have a lower morbidity and a higher survival than intravenous catheters.