The use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) in the management of oncohematological patients


Intravenous literature: Bellesi, S., Leone, G., Sica, S., Chiusolo, P., De Pascale, G., Pittiruti, M., Scoppettuolo, G., Metafuni, E., Giammarco, S., Sorà, F. and Laurenti, L. (2013) Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) in the management of oncohematological patients submitted to autologous stem cell transplantation. Supportive Care in Cancer. 21(2), p.531-535.


The aim of our study was to evaluate the feasibility and the safety of the use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) during autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. Sixty PICCs were inserted in 57 patients (23 females and 34 males; mean age 48, range 19-68 years) and remained in place for an overall period of 1,276 days. All PICCs were positioned by a team of specifically trained physicians and nurses and utilized by specifically trained nurses of our hematology unit. No major insertion-related complications were observed; the only complication during insertion was one local hematoma (1.6 %) due to accidental arterial puncture. Late complications were accidental catheter removal (5 %, 2.3 per 1,000 PICC days), symptomatic catheter-related venous thrombosis (5 %, 2.3 per 1,000 PICC days), and catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI; 3.3 %, 1.5 CRBSI per 1,000 PICC days). The reasons for catheter removal were completion of therapy (42 patients, 70 %), fever of unknown origin (9 patients, 15 %), catheter-related thrombosis (2 patients, 3.3 %), CRBSI (2 patients, 3.3 %), accidental removal (3 patients, 5 %), lumen occlusion (1 patient, 1.6 %), positive culture from peripheral blood (1 patient, 1.6 %), and death (1 patient, 1.6 %). Our data suggest that PICCs are a safe and effective alternative to conventional central venous catheters even in patients particularly prone to infective and hemorrhagic complications such as patients receiving autologous stem cell transplantation.

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