Clinically manifest thromboembolic complications of femoral vein catheterization for continuous renal replacement therapy

J Crit Care. 2014 Feb;29(1):18-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2013.08.010. Epub 2013 Sep 30.


Purpose: The safety of femoral vein (FV) catheterization for continuous renal replacement therapy is uncertain. We sought to determine the incidence of clinically manifest venous thromboembolism (VTE) in such patients.

Methods: We retrospectively studied patients with femoral high flow catheters (≥ 13F) (December 2005 to February 2011). Discharge diagnostic codes were independently screened for VTE. The incidence of VTE was also independently similarly assessed in a control cohort of patients ventilated for more than 2 days (January 2011 to December 2011) in the same intensive care unit (ICU).

Results: We studied 380 patients. Their mean age was 61 years, and 59% were male. The mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score was 84; average duration of continuous renal replacement therapy was 74 hours, and 232 patients (61%) survived to hospital discharge with an average length of hospital stay of 22 days. Only 5 patients (1.3%) had clinically manifest VTE after FV catheterization. In the control cohort of 514 ICU patients, the incidence of VTE was 4.4% (P < .05 compared with FV group).

Conclusion: The incidence of clinically manifest VTE after FV catheterization with high flow catheters is low and lower to that seen in general ICU patients.

Keywords: Catheters; Femoral vein; Intensive care unit; Venous thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects*
  • Comorbidity
  • Critical Care
  • Female
  • Femoral Vein*
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*