Upper-Extremity Venous Access for Children and Adults in Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

J Invasive Cardiol. 2019 May;31(5):141-145. Epub 2019 Feb 15.


Background: Traditional approaches to pediatric cardiac catheterization have relied on femoral venous access. Upper- extremity venous access may enable cardiac catheterization procedures to be performed safely for diagnostic and interventional catheterizations. The objective of this multicenter study was to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of upper-extremity venous access in a pediatric cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent cardiac catheterization via upper-extremity vascular access was performed.

Results: Eighty-two cardiac catheterizations were attempted via upper-extremity vein on 72 patients. Successful access was obtained in 75 catheterizations (91%) in 67 patients. Median age at catheterization was 18.79 years (interquartile range [IQR], 13.02-32.75 years; n = 75) with a median weight of 59.4 kg (IQR, 43.3-76.5 kg; n = 75). The youngest patient was 4.1 months old, weighing 4.3 kg. Local anesthesia or light sedation was utilized in 46 procedures (61%). Diagnostic right heart catheterization was the most common procedure (n = 65; 87%), with intervention performed via the upper extremity in 8 cases (11%). Median fluoroscopy time was 10.02 min (IQR, 2.87-36.26 min; n = 75), with dose area product/kg of 3.765 μGy•m²/kg (IQR, 0.74-34.12 μGy•m²/kg; n = 64). Median sheath duration time was 48 min (IQR, 19.5-147 min; n = 57) and median total procedure time was 116 min (IQR, 80.5-299 min; n = 65). Median length of stay for outpatient procedures was 5.37 hr (IQR, 4.25-6.92 hr; n = 27). There were no procedural complications.

Conclusion: Upper-extremity venous access is a useful, feasible, and safe modality for cardiac catheterization in the pediatric cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Keywords: pediatric cardiology; venous access.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cardiac Catheterization* / methods
  • Cardiac Catheterization* / statistics & numerical data
  • Catheterization, Peripheral* / methods
  • Catheterization, Peripheral* / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Operative Time
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Upper Extremity / blood supply*