Background. With the pharmacokinetic advantages of intraperitoneal chemotherapy delivery and the increased popularity of immunotherapy and gene therapy, intraperitoneal catheters have moved to the forefront as a delivery system in cancer treatment. This delivery system, however, carries with it an intrinsic morbidity warranting attention in the often prolonged chemotherapy regimens demanded by cancer patients. Case. In reviewing the literature of intraperitoneal catheter complications, there is no other cited case of a peritoneal catheter erosion into intestine presenting as an enterovaginal fistula. Our patient, diagnosed with persistent ovarian carcinoma, had a peritoneal Tenckoff catheter placed for chemotherapy. Many months after termination of the chemotherapy and 15 months after placement, she presented with bowel contents per vagina. A CT scan revealed an abdominopelvic abscess encompassing the detached catheter which embedded in the rectosigmoid colon, allowing direct communication to the upper vagina. The catheter was removed and the abscess was drained. Conclusion. Intraperitoneal catheters have a morbidity that persists after nonuse. Therefore, intraperitoneal catheters should be removed if they are not being used. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Enterovaginal fistulas
- Intraperitoneal port-a-caths