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"Although the use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) has many advantages, misplacement can lead to serious life-threatening complications such as pericardial effusion (PCE) and cardiac tamponade (CT). This report aims to describe four cases of CT resulting from misplaced PICC, which were successfully managed" Trinh et al (2024).
PICC associated cardiac tamponade case study

Abstract:

Introduction: Although the use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) has many advantages, misplacement can lead to serious life-threatening complications such as pericardial effusion (PCE) and cardiac tamponade (CT). This report aims to describe four cases of CT resulting from misplaced PICC, which were successfully managed.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of neonates who required PICC insertion and had PCE leading to CT in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, during the year 2022.

Results: Four cases involved preterm infants at 28-30 weeks gestational age, weighing between 900-1,500 grams. The PCE/CT developed between 3 and 24 days following PICC insertion. The abrupt onset with clinical manifestations that showed hemodynamic instability included sudden deterioration, lethargy, apnea, bradycardia, pale skin, and cardiovascular collapse. We use cardiac point of care ultrasound (POCUS) to assess the condition of these patients and guide the pericardiocentesis procedure. The analysis of the aspirated fluid used for PCE/CT treatment is consistent with the component of parenteral nutrition. No deaths were encountered.

Conclusion: Neonates presenting sudden deterioration following PICC insertion should undergo POCUS to prompt identifying PCE/CT. Timely diagnosis via POCUS, prompt pericardiocentesis, and prevention of misplaced PICC-associated serious complications are crucial. Monitoring of the PICC position twice a week is recommended to avoid life-threatening complications. Additionally, incorporating POCUS for identifying the tip of PICC rather than relying solely on X-ray should be considered in the current protocol.

Reference:

Trinh HT, Nguyen TT, Nguyen TT. Cardiac Tamponade Due to Pericardial Effusion Following Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter: A Single-Institution Case Series. Cureus. 2024 Mar 18;16(3):e56403. doi: 10.7759/cureus.56403. PMID: 38638757; PMCID: PMC11025877.