Factors influencing early failure of central venous catheters in children with cancer

J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Oct;39(10):1520-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2004.06.020.


Background: The authors report the results of a prospective, multicenter, multidisciplinary study of central venous catheters (CVCs) in pediatric oncology patients analyzing factors involved in early failure.

Methods: Information was collected from parent-held records on the fate of 824 devices inserted over a 20-month period, 415 of which were no longer in situ.

Results: Within the first 7 weeks after insertion, there were 66 failures, all occurring in external lines. Accidental dislodgement was the principal reason for CVC failure (44 of 66, 67%). Detailed analysis of the reason for failure of this large subgroup showed 11 factors individually associated with early dislodgement, of which, 4 were independently associated with failure by multivariate analysis. These 4 variables were the use of multilumen catheters, the absence of a skin exit site suture, platelet transfusion at the time of insertion, and patient age less than 2 years.

Conclusions: This study confirms the multiple influences on successful CVC usage. Our analysis supports the principle of only using multilumen lines when clinically essential. The findings also support the inception of randomized studies of fixation, particularly in infants.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Central Venous / statistics & numerical data*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / statistics & numerical data
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors