Incidence of Vascular Pain Following Gemcitabine Chemotherapy Infusion with Modified Diluent

Apirom Laocharoenkeat


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine incidence and severity of vascular pain following modified dilulent for gemcitabine solution. Gemcitabine (1,000-1,250 mg/m2) was diluted in 250 ml of normal saline for cancer patients.
Methods: The observational study design was conducted in cancer care unit at our University based hospital. Cancer patients who were treated with gemcitabine based regimen during June to November 2015 were enrolled in the study. Gemcitabine was diluted in 250 ml of normal saline and infused over 30 minutes peripherally. Vascular pain incidence and severity were assessed during and at the end of drug administration by using standard pain assessment tools including pain numeric rating scale, or visual analogue scale (VAS). Incidences of vascular pain were collected and analyzed by descriptive statistics.
Results: One hundred cancer patients receiving pre-specified gemcitabine based regimen were enrolled in the study. The vascular pain incidence was reported in 36 of patients (36%). Among patients with vascular pain, 28 patients (78%) and 8 patients (22%) reported mild and moderate pain severity, respectively. Severe pain was not found in this study. Mean vascular pain score was 1.3±0.56.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that using 250 ml of normal saline as diluent for gemcitabine chemotherapy, the vascular pain incidence was 36% and the pain score appeared to be minimal. Mean±SD of pain score was 1.3±0.56 and there was no incidence of severe pain.


Gemcitabine; vascular pain; normal saline solution

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