A Randomized Trial of the Vein Viewer Versus Standard Technique for Placement of Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs) in Neonates

J Perinatol. 2012 Jul;32(7):498-501. doi: 10.1038/jp.2011.129. Epub 2011 Sep 22.


Objective: Peripherally inserted central catheters are important but can be difficult to place in neonates. Therefore, we compared a near-infrared device, the Vein Viewer, to determine if its use would increase successful line placement, with standard techniques.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial in preterm and term neonates in a level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Result: In all, 115 subjects were enrolled with 59 randomized to the Vein Viewer group and 56 to the control group. Overall, use of the Vein Viewer showed a trend to more successful placement 86 versus 75%; unadjusted odds ratio 2.33 (0.90, 6.04; P=0.08). Infants randomized to the Vein Viewer were more mature (30 ± 2 weeks gestational age (GA) versus 28 ± 2 weeks GA; P=0.08). After adjusting for GA, use of the Vein Viewer was significantly more likely to lead to successful line placement (adjusted odds ratio 3.05 (1.10, 1.82)).

Conclusion: The Vein Viewer improved successful placement with the most benefit seen in infants of greater GA.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male