Obtaining intravascular access in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is not only critical but also technically challenging” Payne et al (2016).
Obtaining intravascular access in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is not only critical but also technically challenging. Malposition of the catheter tip is a known and well-documented complication. Specifically, peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) line insertion into the ascending lumbar vein can lead to neurological dysfunction and, in some cases, even death. We present the first reported case of pneumorrhachis (PR) following PICC line insertion into the ascending lumbar vein. Our patient presented with lower extremity weakness and imaging confirmed the presence of air within the spinal canal. After conservative treatment, the strength deficit resolved and subsequent imaging revealed resolution of the air within the spinal canal. Insertion of central venous catheters into the ascending lumbar vein is a well-documented complication that can lead to neurologic injury and even death. This should be considered in the evaluation of any neonate presenting with an abnormal neurological examination or unexplained change in exam after line insertion.
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Payne, R., Sieg, E.P., Choudhary, A. and Iantosca, M. (2016) Pneumorrhachis Resulting in Transient Paresis after PICC Line Insertion into the Ascending Lumbar Vein. Curēus. 8(10), p.e833.
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