Greater Risk of Deep-Vein Thrombosis with PICCs than Other CVCs

October 1, 2013 | Evaluations & Guidance


Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are associated with a greater risk of deep-vein thrombosis than other central venous catheters (CVCs), according to the results of a study published in the July 27, 2013, issue of the Lancet.

The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of 64 studies that included 29,503 patients who received a PICC in their arm and found that the weighted frequency of PICC-related deep-vein thrombosis was highest in patients who were cared for in ICU settings and among those who were diagnosed with cancer. To explain the increased risk of thrombosis with PICCs compared to other CVCs, the researchers mention that PICCs have longer dwell times than CVCs and are inserted into peripheral veins that are more likely to occlude in the presence of a catheter that occupies much of the luminal diameter. In addition, the fact that PICCs placed in the internal jugular, rather than arm veins, are associated with a lower...

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