Peripherally inserted central catheters for long-term parenteral nutrition in infants with intestinal failure

Hannah G. Piper, Nicole T. De Silva, Joao G. Amaral, Yaron Avitzur, Paul W. Wales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Infants with intestinal failure often require long-term central access for delivery of parenteral nutrition (PN). Traditionally, surgically placed central venous catheters (CVCs) have been used; however, the complications associated with these catheters can lead to significant morbidity. Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are potentially superior to CVCs because they tend to be smaller, and can be placed without general anesthesia. The purpose of the study is to report the use of PICCs for long-term administration of PN in infants with intestinal failure and compare with previously published catheter infection and venous thrombosis rates. METHODS: A 4-year review of infants younger than 12 months with intestinal failure and a PICC for PN delivery was performed to determine the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) and PICC-associated venous thrombosis. The complication rates were compared with those reported for CVCs and PICCs in the pediatric literature. RESULTS: A total of 45 infants with intestinal failure, receiving PN through a PICC were included in the study. Data from 95 PICCs accounting for 10,189 catheter days were collected. The overall incidence of CRBSI was 5.3/1000 catheter days and the incidence of venous thrombosis was 2.0/1000 catheter days. CONCLUSIONS: PICCs offer an advantage over CVCs in that they can often be inserted without a general anesthesia and do not require manipulation of the vein. Given the low rate of CRBSI and venous thrombosis, we recommend PICCs for infants with intestinal failure requiring PN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-581
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2013


  • Central venous catheter
  • Complications
  • Intestinal failure
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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