Ultrasound guidance for Port-A-Cath insertion in children; a comparative study

Osama A Bawazir, Abdullah Bawazir
International Journal of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2021, 8 (3): 181-185

Background: Gaining vascular access in children is challenging. Ultrasound-guided central line insertion in adults became the standard of care; however, its role in children is not clear. Our objective was to evaluate the ultrasound-guided Port-A-Cath or totally implanted long-term venous access device insertion in pediatric patients compared to the traditional approach.

Methods: This single-institution retrospective cohort study included 169 children who had port-A-catheters between May 2016 and Oct 2019. The patients were divided into two groups; group A included patients who had Port-A-Cath insertion using the landmark method (n = 117), and Group B included patients who had ultrasound-guided Port-A-Cath insertion (n = 52). Preoperative, operative, and postoperative data were collected and compared between the two groups. The study outcomes were operative time and catheter insertion-related complications.

Results: There was no significant difference in age or gender between both groups ( P  = .33 and .71, respectively). Eleven cases in group A and two cases in group B were converted to cut down technique because of difficulty in inserting the guidewire. There was no difference in the indication of the need for the port-A-Cath between both groups. The mean operative time for group A was 47 min and for group B was 41.7 min ( P  < .042). Two patients had intraoperative bleeding and hemothorax and required blood transfusion and chest tube insertion in group A. No statistically significant difference was found in the reported complications between the groups. However, the insertion-related complications were higher in group A ( P = .053). No procedure-related mortality was reported.

Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided insertion of Port-A-Cath is an effective and safe technique with a reduction of failure rate. It should be considered the standard technique for Port-A-Cath insertion in the pediatric population.

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