Displacement of central venous catheter tip in an infant
A 14-week infant, with respiratory distress since birth, was referred to our institution. Chest radiography and ultrasonographic examination confirmed right-sided diaphragmatic eventration. Owing to difficulty in securing a peripheral venous access, a double-lumen 4-Fr central venous catheter (CVC) was inserted into the right internal jugular vein, under ultrasonographic guidance. Aspiration of blood from both ports confirmed intravascular placement. A frontal radiograph done after the procedure showed the catheter tip in the right atrium, hence it was withdrawn to a level just below the carina. Surgical plication of the right dome of the diaphragm was performed, following which an intercostal tube was placed. After 3 days, there was increased drainage of clear fluid. Biochemical analysis ruled out exudative effusion, hence displacement of the CVC into the pleural cavity was suspected. A frontal chest radiograph was done to confirm this, but it did not suggest CVC tip displacement. Bedside ultrasonography was done but the CVC tip could not be visualized. The patient was too unstable to perform a chest CT scan or echocardiography. Therefore, a bedside chest radiograph was taken while injecting 1 ml of iohexol (diluted with 4 ml of normal saline) into the CVC. This showed the contrast leaking out of the CVC, flowing into the mediastinal pleural space, and ultimately into the ICD tube, confirming displacement of the CVC tip. The catheter was immediately removed, and an alternate venous access was established.
Kumar K, Mathew JL, Sodhi KS. Confirmation of pleural displacement of central venous catheter tip in an infant, by bedside contrast injection. J Vasc Access. 2022 Aug 1:11297298221115561. doi: 10.1177/11297298221115561. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35915562.