PICC and risk of upper limb deep vein thrombosis

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Central venous catheters and peripherally inserted central catheters are well established risk factors for upper limb deep vein thrombosis” Leung et al (2016).

Abstract:

Background: Central venous catheters and peripherally inserted central catheters are well established risk factors for upper limb deep vein thrombosis. There is limited literature on the thrombosis rates in patients with peripheral catheters. A prospective observational study was conducted to determine the incidence of peripheral catheter-related thrombosis in surgical patients.

Methods: Patients deemed high risk for venous thrombosis with a peripheral catheter were considered eligible for the study. An ultrasound was performed on enrolment into the study and at discharge from hospital. Participants were reviewed twice a day for clinical features of upper limb deep vein thrombosis during their admission and followed up at 30 days.

Results: 54 patients were included in the study. The incidence of deep vein thrombosis and superficial venous thrombosis was 1.8% and 9.2%, respectively. All cases of venous thrombosis were asymptomatic. Risk factor analysis was limited by the low incidence of thrombosis.

Conclusion: This study revealed a low incidence of deep vein thrombosis in surgical patients with peripheral catheters (1.8%). The study was underpowered; therefore the association between peripheral catheters and thrombosis is unable to be established. Future studies with larger sample sizes are required to determine the association between peripheral catheters and thrombosis.

Reference:

Leung, A., Heal, C., Banks, J., Abraham, B., Capati, G. and Pretorius, C. (2016) The Incidence of Peripheral Catheter-Related Thrombosis in Surgical Patients. Thrombosis. January 24th. [epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.1155/2016/6043427.

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