PICC line benefits in patients with hematologic malignancies


“PICCs represent a useful and safe alternative to conventional CVAD for the management of patients with hematologic malignancies” Morano et al (2015).


Morano, S.G., Latagliata, R., Girmenia, C., Massaro, F., Berneschi, P., Guerriero, A., Giampaoletti, M., Sammarco, A., Annechini, G., Fama, A., Di Rocco, A., Chistolini, A., Micozzi, A., Molica, M., Barberi, W., Minotti, C., Brunetti, G.A., Breccia, M., Cartoni, C., Capria, S., Rosa, G., Alimena, G. and Foà, R. (2015) Catheter-associated bloodstream infections and thrombotic risk in hematologic patients with peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC). Supportive Care in Cancer. April 26th. [epub ahead of print].


PURPOSE: The use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) as an alternative to other central venous access devices (CVAD) is becoming very frequent in cancer patients. To evaluate the impact of complications associated to these devices in patients with hematologic malignancies, we revised the catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) and the catheter-related thrombotic complications (CRTC) observed at our institute between January 2009 and December 2012.

METHODS: A total of 612 PICCs were inserted into 483 patients at diagnosis or in subsequent phases of their hematologic disease. PICCs were successfully inserted in all cases. The median duration of in situ PICC placement was 101 days (interquartile range, 48-184 days).

RESULTS: A CRBSI occurred in 47 cases (7.7 %), with a rate of 0.59 per 1000 PICC days. A CRTC was recorded in 16 cases (2.6 %), with a rate of 0.20 per 1000 PICC days. No serious complication was associated to these events. Cox regression analyses of variables associated to CRBSIs and to CRTCs showed that only the type of disease (acute leukemia compared to other diseases) was significantly associated to a higher incidence of CRBSIs, while no feature was predictive for a higher risk of CRTCs.

CONCLUSIONS: PICCs represent a useful and safe alternative to conventional CVAD for the management of patients with hematologic malignancies.

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