PURPOSE: The intestinal failure (IF) population is dependent upon central venous catheters (CVC) to maintain minimal energy requirements for growth. Central venous catheter infections (CVCI) are frequent and an independent predictor of intestinal failure associated liver disease. A common complication in children with long-term CVC is the risk of line breakage.

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Given the often-limited usable vascular access sites in this population, it has been the standard of practice to perform repair of the broken line. Although widely practiced, it is unknown if this practice is associated with increased line colonization rates and subsequent line loss.

METHODS: A retrospective review of our institutional IF population over the past 8years (2006-2014) was performed. Utilizing a prospectively constructed database, all pediatric patients (n=13, ages 0-17 years) with CVC dependency enrolled in the Children’s Intestinal Rehabilitation Program with IF were included who underwent a repair and/or replacement procedure of their line. The control replacement group was CVCs that were replaced without being repaired (36), the experimental repair group was CVCs that were repaired (8). The primary outcome of interest was the mean number of days in each group from the intervention (replacement or repair) to line infection/colonization. Mann-Whitney tests for significance were performed with p-values

RESULTS: There were no catheter repair associated CVCI. The mean number of days from the replacement or repair of a CVC to its removal owing to infection/colonization was 210.0 and 162.8days respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between these groups in time to removal owing to line infection (p=0.55).

CONCLUSION: Repair of central venous catheters in the pediatric population with intestinal failure does not lead to an increased rate of central venous catheter infection and should be performed when possible.


McNiven, C., Switzer, N., Wood, M., Persad, R., Hancock, M., Forgie, S. and Dicken, B.J. (2015) Central venous catheter repair is not associated with an increased risk of central line infection or colonization in intestinal failure pediatric patients. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. August 8th. [epub ahead of print].

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