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"Mechanical complications occur in 17% of CVADs at a median of < 6 months after insertion" Zhang et al (2022).
CVC complications in children


Purpose: Factors leading to mechanical complications following insertion of central venous access devices (CVADs) in children are poorly understood. We aimed to quantify the rates and elucidate the mechanisms of these complications.

Methods: Retrospective (2016-2021) review of children (< 18 years old) receiving a CVAD. Data, reported as number of cases (%) and median (IQR), were analysed by Fisher's exact test, chi-squared test and logistic regression analysis.

Results: In total, 317 CVADs (245 children) were inserted. Median age was 5.0 (8.9) years, with 116 (47%) females. There were 226 (71%) implantable port devices and 91 (29%) Hickman lines. Overall, 54 (17%) lines had a mechanical complication after 0.4 (0.83) years from insertion: fracture 19 (6%), CVAD migration 14 (4.4%), occlusion 14 (4.4%), port displacement 6 (1.9%), and skin tethering to port device 1 (0.3%). Younger age and lower weight were associated with higher risk of complications (p < 0.0001). Hickman lines had a higher incidence of complications compared to implantable port devices [24/91 (26.3%) vs 30/226 (13.3%); p = 0.008].

Conclusion: Mechanical complications occur in 17% of CVADs at a median of < 6 months after insertion. Risk factors include younger age and lower weight. Implantable port devices have a lower complications rate.

Level of evidence: Level 4: case-series with no comparison group.


Zhang JJ, Nataraja RM, Lynch A, Barnes R, Ferguson P, Pacilli M. Factors affecting mechanical complications of central venous access devices in children. Pediatr Surg Int. 2022 May 5. doi: 10.1007/s00383-022-05130-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35513517.