Peripherally inserted central catheters: experience in 523 children

Radiology. 1997 Sep;204(3):617-21. doi: 10.1148/radiology.204.3.9280234.


Purpose: To evaluate prospectively the use of peripherally inserted central catheters in a large pediatric population.

Materials and methods: During a 3-year period, data were collected prospectively on 523 consecutive attempts to place peripherally inserted central catheters in children. Patients underwent radiologically guided placement because attempts were unsuccessful on the inpatient units or a patient request was made. Fluoroscopy with use of contrast material and venography were used to place catheters and document the position of the catheter tip. Follow-up data were collected until treatment cessation or catheter removal.

Results: Among 523 attempts, 486 (92.9%) catheters were successfully placed. In the 37 (7.1%) unsuccessful cases, more than half of these children were younger than 24 months of age or weighed less than 5 kg. Ages of patients in whom 523 placement attempts were made ranged from 3 weeks to 18 years (mean, 6.9 years). Catheters were in place from 1 to 390 days (mean, 20 days). Frequency of infection was 1.9% (nine cases); incidence of infection was 0.93 per 1,000 catheter-placement days. There were two cases (0.4%) of central venous thrombosis. Most patients were discharged within 2 days of catheter placement.

Conclusion: Fluoroscopically guided placement of peripherally inserted central catheters is a safe and effective method for establishing intermediate- and long-term central venous access in the pediatric population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / methods
  • Catheters, Indwelling
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infections / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography, Interventional*
  • Thrombosis / etiology