Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) tip position and risk of associated complications in neonates


Intravenous literature: Jain, A., Deshpande, P. and Shah, P. (2012) Peripherally inserted central catheter tip position and risk of associated complications in neonates. Journal of Perinatology. Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print].


Objective: To characterize the relationship between peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) tip positions and associated complications in neonates.

Study Design: Catheter tip position for 319 infants was classified into superior vena cava (SVC, n=131), inferior vena cava (IVC, n=72), brachiocephalic (BC, n=59), midclavicular (MC, n=49) or iliac. Duration of catheter stay and complication profile was compared between central (SVC/IVC) vs non-central PICC, and between SVC vs IVC, SVC vs BC and SVC vs MC. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and regression models were used.

Result: Overall length of catheter stay was similar between central and non-central group. Non-central catheters (n=116) had higher complication rates (47 vs 29%; P=0.001), non-elective removals (45 vs 27%; P=0.002) and shorter time to complication (6.2 vs 11.4 days; P=0.043). This difference was primarily due to the complications encountered in MC group, which had the highest rate of infiltration (P<0.001) and mechanical complications while outcomes were similar among other subgroups. Interestingly, catheter survival probability was similar in all groups for first 4 days. Rate and types of blood stream infections were not related to catheter tip position.

Conclusion: Non-central PICCs are associated with higher rates of infiltration and mechanical complications when the tip is in MC region. BC catheters may have comparable outcomes to SVC in neonates. A careful risk-benefit analysis is warranted when MC catheters are used in neonates.

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