Peripherally inserted central catheters in infants and children

Radiology. 1997 Sep;204(3):622-6. doi: 10.1148/radiology.204.3.9280235.


Purpose: To determine prospectively the feasibility, complications, and mid- and long-term advantages of peripheral insertion of central catheters in infants and children.

Materials and methods: During a 15-month period between March 1995 and June 1996, a total of 285 catheter placement attempts were made to peripherally insert central catheters in 183 pediatric patients (89 boys, 94 girls). Phlebographic guidance was used, and the catheters were inserted below the elbow in 99% of cases. Catheter insertion was indicated for prolonged antibiotic therapy in 108 patients (158 catheter placement attempts), hematologic or oncologic care in 24 patients (40 attempts), total parenteral nutrition in 16 patients (46 attempts), and venous access for fluid or blood in 35 patients (41 attempts). The success rate and complications were recorded along with the indication, patient age, and duration of catheter placement.

Results: One hundred fifty-two of 158 (96%) catheter placement attempts were successful in outpatients (n = 108), 124 of 127 (98%) in hospitalized patients (n = 75), and 70 of 73 (96%) in patients aged less than 1 year. Infection and pericatheter venous thrombosis were the main complications and were seen in 17 of 276 (6%) and one of 276 (0.3%) catheter placement attempts, respectively. Catheter occlusion occurred in 23 of 276 (8%) catheter placement attempts.

Conclusion: Peripheral insertion of central catheters was highly feasible in infants and children with this protocol. Such catheters were well tolerated in the pediatric population with a low frequency of complications.

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / instrumentation
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / methods
  • Catheters, Indwelling
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography, Interventional*