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Results summary of St. Jude clinical trial: 



Catheter Resistance Monitoring to Predict Catheter-Associated Adverse Events in Children and Adolescents (CARMA)

Why was this study done?

Central venous lines (catheters) make the treatment of cancer much easier, but blockages can occur in these lines. Children with blockages sometimes need to have their central lines replaced. These patients may also have a higher chance of getting blood infections or large blood clots in their veins.

The study’s main goals were to:

  • Find out whether blockages in the central line could be predicted by measuring the pressure in the line at different flow rates
  • Learn how families feel about the process

When was this study done?

The study opened in December 2012 and closed in September 2016.

What did the study consist of?

  • Clinicians measured pressure in the central venous line once a week for 12 weeks
  • Staff flushed the line and then gave a small amount of fluid using a standard IV pump. During this time, clinicians measured pressure in the line several times 
  • Researchers also collected information about the child’s health before, during and for up to three weeks after
  • Four times during the study, families took a survey to find out how they felt about the procedure and its impact on their lifestyles

What did we learn from this study?

The main result of the study was that some episodes of catheter blockage were predictable up to 10 days before they occurred, but others were not. The good news is that test performed much better than chance, so is still promising. Overall, families thought the measurement process was acceptable. 

What are the next research steps as a result of this study?

Scientists could work to improve the resistance monitoring technique and test it again in a new group of patients. In the long run, we hope to improve treatment of all children with cancer by preventing central line problems.

How does this study affect my child?

Every childhood cancer survivor should receive long-term follow-up care. Through the St. Jude After Completion of Care clinic, your child will receive information and guidance for care after treatment. Please speak with your St. Jude doctor about specific guidelines that apply to your child.

For more information

Please talk with your child’s St. Jude doctor about questions or concerns you have as a result of this study.

Publications generated from this study:

Monitoring Central Venous Catheter Resistance to Predict Imminent Occlusion: A Prospective Pilot Study. Wolf J, Tang L, Rubnitz JE, Brennan RC, Shook DR, Stokes DC, Monagle P, Curtis N, Worth LJ, Allison K, Sun Y, Flynn PM. PLoS One. 2015 Aug 31;10(8):e0135904.