Research study: Valved versus open PICC occlusion rates


Johnston, A.J., Streater, C.T., Noorani, R., Crofts, J.L., Del Mundo, A.B. and Parker, R.A. (2012) The effect of peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) valve technology on catheter occlusion rates – The ‘ELeCTRiC’ study. The Journal of Vascular Access. April 2nd [Epub ahead of print].


Purpose: Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs) are increasingly being used to provide short to medium-term central venous access. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that PICC valve technology does not influence PICC occlusion rates.

Methods: Intensive care unit (ICU) patients who required a PICC were randomized to one of three types of dual lumen PICC (open ended non-valved, Groshong valve, PASV valve). PICC occlusions were recorded and managed with a protocol that used urokinase.

Results: A total of 102 patients were recruited to the study. The overall risk of occlusion per catheter was 35% (95% CI 26% to 44%). The overall rate of occlusion was 76 occlusions per 1000 catheter days (95% CI 61 to 95). Presence or type of valve did not significantly influence this rate (open-ended non-valved PICC 38% of catheters, 79 occlusions per 1000 catheter days; Groshong 38% of catheters, 60 occlusions per 1000 catheter days; PASV 27% of catheters, 99 occlusions per 1000 catheter days). The dose of urokinase required to treat PICC occlusions did not significantly differ between PICC types.

Conclusions: Valved PICCs do not appear to influence PICC occlusion rates.

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