Percutaneous central access in patients younger than 5 years: size does matter

James E Janik, Sarah J Conlon, Joseph S Janik
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2004, 39 (8): 1252-6

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine, in a pediatric population less than 5 years of age, which size catheter is ideal for central venous access via the subclavian and internal jugular vein based on the children's age, weight, and height.

METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review of children less than 5 years of age at The Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado who underwent subclavian or internal jugular central venous catheter placement from January 1, 1998 through December 31, 2001. Age, height, weight, primary disease, access site, type of central venous catheter, size of central venous catheter, and complications were recorded. Age, weight, and height were stratified and compared with catheter size to determine any correlation between age, weight, height, and complications.

RESULTS: There were 430 central venous catheters placed via the subclavian or internal jugular vein in 331 patients less than 5 years old. One hundred ninety-five catheters (45.4%) were less than 6F in size, and 235 (54.6%) catheters were > or =6F in size. Children, who were between 0.5 and 0.99 years old, 5 to 7.49 kg in weight, 7.5 to 9.99 kg in weight, and 60 to 74.9 cm in height had higher complication rates (P <.05) when catheters > or =6F were inserted. Children who were greater than 1 year of age, greater than 10 kg in weight, and longer than 75 cm in height did not experience a significant difference (P >.05) in complications versus catheter size.

CONCLUSIONS: The choice of central venous catheter size should be predicated, not only on the primary disease, but also on the child's age, weight, and height. Insertion of central venous catheters larger than 6F in children less than 1 year of age, less than 10 kg in weight, or less than 75 cm in height, was associated with higher complications compared with other settings.

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