Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 1013–1020 | Cite as

Increased risk of symptomatic upper-extremity venous thrombosis with multiple peripherally inserted central catheter insertions in pediatric patients

  • Ralph Gnannt
  • Nicolas Waespe
  • Michael Temple
  • Afsaneh Amirabadi
  • Kuan Liu
  • Leonardo R. Brandão
  • Bairbre L. Connolly
Original Article



Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are associated with superficial and deep venous thrombosis of the arm.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the sequelae of repeated upper limb PICC insertions in children, in terms of the frequency of upper limb thrombosis in this patient group.

Materials and methods

The study population included all children who underwent their first successful arm PICC insertion between January 2010 and December 2015. We included subsequent ipsilateral arm PICCs in the analysis. Patients were followed until March 2016 or until any alternative central venous line insertion. For each PICC insertion, we collected demographic variables and line characteristics. We correlated all symptomatic deep and superficial thromboses of the arm with the PICC database.


Applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 2,180 PICCs remained for analysis. We identified first, second, third and fourth PICC insertions in the same arm in 1,955, 181, 38 and 6 patients, respectively. In total there were 57 upper body deep symptomatic thrombotic events. An increasing odds ratio was seen with higher numbers of PICC insertions, which was significant when comparing the first with the third and fourth PICC insertions in the same arm (odds ratio [OR] 6.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.25–16.04, P=0.0004). Double-lumen PICCs were associated with a significantly higher risk of thrombosis than single lumen (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.72-4.47, P=0.0003).


Repetitive PICC insertions in the same arm are associated with an increased risk of symptomatic thrombosis. Double-lumen PICCs are associated with a higher risk of thrombosis compared to single-lumen lines.


Catheter Children Peripherally inserted central catheter Thrombosis Upper extremity Venous access 



Dr. Ralph Gnannt was supported by the Emily Dorothy Lageman Foundation (EMDO) and Helmut-Hartweg Funds.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Image Guided Therapy, Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick ChildrenUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Pediatric Interventional Radiology, Department of Diagnostic ImagingUniversity Children’s Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick ChildrenUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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