A comparison of Broviac® and peripherally inserted central catheters in children with intestinal failure

Carolina Blotte, Jennifer Styers, Hong Zhu, Nandini Channabasappa, Hannah G. Piper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Central venous catheters (CVCs) are a source of morbidity for children with intestinal failure (IF). Complications include infection, breakage, occlusion, and venous thrombosis. Broviacs® have traditionally been preferred, but peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are gaining popularity. This study compares complications between Broviacs® and PICCs in children with IF. Methods: After IRB approval, children with IF receiving parenteral nutrition (2012-2016) were reviewed. Complications were compared between Broviacs® and PICCs using the generalized estimation equation population-averaged Poisson regression model. P values <. 0.05 were considered significant. Results: 36 children (0.1-16. years) with IF were reviewed, accounting for 27,331 catheter days, 108 Broviacs® (3F-9F), and 54 PICCs (2-11F). Broviacs® had a significantly higher infection rate (4.2 vs. 2.6/1000 catheter days, p = 0.011), but PICCs were more likely to break (1.56 vs. 0.26/1000 catheter days, p = 0.002). When comparing same size catheters (3F), there were no significant differences in infection, breakage, or occlusion. Twelve children (33%) had central venous thrombosis, all after Broviac® placement. Three children (8%) had basilic vein thrombosis after PICC placement. Conclusion: Although Broviacs® and PICCs had similar complication rates, there were fewer central venous thromboses associated with PICCs. This should be considered when choosing catheters for children with IF. Level of evidence: 11b (Prognosis Study).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 28 2016


  • Central venous catheter
  • Complications
  • Intestinal failure
  • Peripherally inserted central catheter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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