COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

A prospective randomized trial of ultrasound- vs landmark-guided central venous access in the pediatric population

Matias Bruzoni, Bethany J Slater, James Wall, Shawn D St Peter, Sanjeev Dutta
Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2013, 216 (5): 939-43
23478546

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this prospective randomized study was to compare landmark- to ultrasound-guided central venous access when performed by pediatric surgeons. The American College of Surgeons advocates for use of ultrasound in central venous catheter placement; however, this is not universally embraced by pediatric surgeons. Complication risk correlates positively with number of venous cannulation attempts.

STUDY DESIGN: With IRB approval, a randomized prospective study of children under 18 years of age undergoing tunneled central venous catheter placement was performed. Patient accrual was based on power analysis. Exclusion criteria included known nonpatency of a central vein or coagulopathy. After randomization, the patients were assigned to either ultrasound-guided internal jugular vein access or landmark-guided subclavian/internal jugular vein access. The primary outcomes measure was number of attempts at venous cannulation. Secondary outcomes measures included: access times, number of arterial punctures, and other complications. Continuous variables were compared using 2-tailed Student's t-test. Discrete variables were analyzed with chi-square. Significance was defined as p < 0.05.

RESULTS: There were 150 patients enrolled between April 2008 and September 2011. There was no difference when comparing demographic data. Success at first attempt was achieved in 65% of patients in the ultrasound group vs 45% in the landmark group (p = 0.021). Success within 3 attempts was achieved in 95% of ultrasound group vs 74% of landmark group (p = 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound reduced the number of cannulation attempts necessary for venous access. This indicates a potential to reduce complications when ultrasound is used by pediatric surgeons.

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