Choosing between PICC or tunnelled central venous catheters

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Reference:

Christensen, L.D., Holst, M., Bech, L.F., Drustrup, L., Nygaard, L., Skallerup, A., Rasmussen, H.H. and Vinter-Jensen, L. (2015) Comparison of complications associated with peripherally inserted central catheters and Hickman™ catheters in patients with intestinal failure receiving home parenteral nutrition. Six-year follow up study. Clinical Nutrition. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

BACKGROUND & AIM: Patients with intestinal failure (IF) are dependent on parenteral nutrition delivered through central access such as Hickman™ catheters. The peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is becoming increasingly popular for the purpose. The aim of the present study was to compare complication rates between the two types of catheters.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Over a six-year period (2008-2014), we included 136 patients with IF receiving home parenteral nutrition (HPN). These patients had a total of 295 catheters (169 Hickman™ catheters and 126 PICCs). Data were collected by reviewing their medical records. Incidences are given per 1000 catheter days. Data are given as means ± standard deviation (SD) and compared using independent student’s t-tests, Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon, and X2-tests. A survival analysis for time to the first infection was conducted using Cox regression.

RESULTS: The total number of catheter days was 54,912 days for Hickman™ catheters (mean dwell time 325 ± 402) and 15,974 days for PICCs (mean dwell time 127 ± 121), respectively. The incidence of catheter-related blood stream infection (CRBSI) per 1000 catheter days was significantly lower for Hickman™ catheters compared to PICCs (0.56 vs. 1.63, p < 0.05). The mean time to first CRBSI was significantly shorter for PICCs compared to Hickman™ catheters (84 ± 94 days vs. 297 ± 387 days, p < 0.05), which was confirmed with a cox analysis corrected for age and gender. A total of 75 catheters were removed due to CRBSI, 49 Hickman™ catheters and 26 PICCs respectively. In addition, PICCs were more often removed due to local infection/phlebitis and mechanical causes (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: We found a higher risk and shorter time to first CRBSI in PICCs compared to Hickman catheters supporting that PICCs should mainly be chosen for planned HPN up to 3-6 months. We therefore conclude that the choice of catheter must still be determined on an individual basis.

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