Introduction: Central venous catheters (CVCs) and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) may cause delayed complications, such as venous erosion, hydrothorax, or hydromediastinum. Vascular erosion is most frequently associated with left-sided CVC insertions. We report a case of hydropneumomediastinum and hydropneumothorax as a delayed complication of right-sided PICC used for total parenteral nutrition.
Presentation of case: A 77-year-old man with muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer underwent pelvic lymphadenectomy and radical cystectomy with uretero-ileostomy reconstruction (Bricker). The patient developed postoperative ileus, and thus, a right PICC was inserted for total parenteral nutrition. On postoperative day 8, he developed bilateral hydromediastinum, and bilateral thoracentesis was performed. After the procedure, he presented with respiratory and hemodynamic deterioration and was transferred to the intensive care unit for 12 days. The patient was eventually discharged and followed-up at the outpatient department.
Discussion: Ruptured SVC has been predominantly described in left-sided CVCs at the right angle of the junction of the left brachiocephalic vein and SVC. However, our patient is the second documented case of bilateral hydropneumothorax and hydropneumomediastinum as a delayed complication of a PICC used to administer total parenteral nutrition. Catheters may migrate from their initial position due to breathing, bloodstream flow dynamics, postural rotation, and neck movements. Chemical irritation of the vessel wall may be caused by hyperosmolar hyperalimentation fluid.
Conclusion: A right-sided vascular approach is preferred to avoid friction complications, and the tip should be placed at the lower third of the vena cava to prevent vascular erosion.Reference:
Chica J, Ballén NP, Aguillon KJ, Rugeles SJ. Hydromediastinum and hydrothorax as delayed complications of peripherally inserted central catheter used for total parenteral nutrition: A case report. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2021 Jul 27;86:106247. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2021.106247. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34500252.