Increasing Catheter Size Tied to Greater Thrombosis Risk

Prior deep vein thrombosis also tied to risk of peripherally inserted central catheter-linked DVT
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Previous deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and increasing catheter size are related to an increased risk for peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC)-associated DVT, according to a study in the October issue of Chest.

In a one-year prospective observational study, R. Scott Evans, Ph.D., of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, and colleagues evaluated 2,014 PICC insertions during 1,879 distinct hospitalizations in 1,728 patients to identify the incidence and risk factors for symptomatic DVT.

The investigators found that 3.0 percent of the PICC insertions in 57 distinct patients developed DVT in the cannulated or adjacent veins. Prior DVT (odds ratio [OR], 9.92; P < .001), use of double-lumen 5F (OR, 7.54; P < .05) or triple-lumen 6F (OR, 19.50; P < .01) PICCs, and prior surgery duration greater than one hour (OR, 1.66; P = .10) were associated with an increased risk of DVT.

"Our study identified both patient-specific and catheter-specific risk factors for PICC-associated DVT. Therefore, we believe that the decision to place a PICC and the number of lumens chosen should be a thoughtful decision based on the specific clinical needs of the patient. Catheter size should be based on compelling clinical indications not on convenience or department stock," the authors write.

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