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"PICC-related thrombosis occurred within 1 week after catheter placement, and thrombosis more likely happened in infants whose mothers had autoimmune disease" Zhu et al (2022).
Neonatal PICC-related thrombosis


Background: This study aimed to analyze clinical characteristics and risk factors for peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) placement in premature infants.

Materials: This study included seven premature infants who were hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Peking University Third Hospital from 1 January 2014-30 June 2021, and suffered PICC-related venous thrombosis. The control group included premature infants (n = 56) matched (1:8) by the following: Did not experience venous thrombosis; born with a similar gestational age (±2 w), birth weight (±200 g); and received PICC catheterization in the same period (±4 w). Clinical neonatal data were collected through the hospital electronic medical record system and analyzed using SPSS version 23.

Results: The incidence of PICC-related thrombus was 0.23% (7/3043. Univariate analysis revealed that, compared to the non-thrombotic group, mothers in the thrombosis group had autoimmune diseases (χ2 = 9.844, p = 0.030) and used anticoagulative drugs during pregnancy (χ2 = 8.036, p = 0.025). The corrected gestational age when PICC-related thrombosis occurred in the thrombosis group was 32 + 6 (30 + 1, 34 + 1) weeks. The average time from catheter placement to thrombosis was 5 (1, 12) days. Among infants, 85.7% (6/7) experienced deep vein thrombosis, of which four were in the lower extremity veins; three occurred within 2 days after central venous catheter extubation, and four occurred during central venous catheter indwelling. The clinical manifestations of thrombosis include skin edema, color changes, and skin temperature changes in the affected limbs. The seven neonates had normal coagulation at the time of thrombus diagnosis, but D-dimers significantly increased 1-2 days after thrombosis, returning to normal 5-8 days after thrombus. The thrombus persisted for 4.5 (3, 8) days. All seven neonates were treated with low molecular weight heparin calcium anticoagulation for 10 (3, 17) days and recovered completely.

Conclusions: PICC-related thrombosis occurred within 1 week after catheter placement, and thrombosis more likely happened in infants whose mothers had autoimmune disease. When this high-risk factor exists and the patient has been intubated for 1 week and has sudden swelling in the intubated limb, venous ultrasound should be performed immediately to diagnose, and treatment should be provided in a timely manner to reduce adverse events.


Zhu W, Zhang H, Xing Y. Clinical Characteristics of Venous Thrombosis Associated with Peripherally Inserted Central Venous Catheter in Premature Infants. Children (Basel). 2022 Jul 28;9(8):1126. doi: 10.3390/children9081126. PMID: 36010017; PMCID: PMC9406451.