Central venous catheters--no X-rays needed: a prospective study in 50 consecutive infants and children

J Pediatr Surg. 1988 Dec;23(12):1201-3. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(88)80344-0.


A technique of central venous line (CVL) placement using ECG guidance is described. The method utilizes equipment found in most operating room departments, is easily learned and taught, and obviates the need for x-rays. CVL placement in 50 consecutive infants and children was performed over a 4-month period by the ECG-guided method, with catheter tip position subsequently determined by x-ray study. The technique demonstrated a 96% success and 100% accuracy rate. The two technical failures were both preventable. Equipment malfunction was responsible for one failure. The second failure was secondary to a preexisting supraventricular arrhythmia, and patients with arrhythmias or pacemakers are not suitable candidates for this technique of central venous catheterization. Radiologic methods of CVL placement were necessary in these two patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / standards
  • Catheters, Indwelling*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electrocardiography
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn