Percutaneous inferior vena caval approach for long-term central venous access

J D Bennett, D Papadouris, R N Rankin, R F McGloughlin, S Kribs, R I Kozak, G Garvin, J Elliott
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology: JVIR 1997, 8 (5): 851-5

PURPOSE: The authors report their experience with the translumbar inferior vena cava (IVC) approach for central venous access during a 6-year period at three teaching hospital sites.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-nine percutaneous IVC central venous access catheters were inserted in 22 patients during a 6-year period in the radiology departments of three teaching hospital sites. All patients had undergone unsuccessful attempts at conventional central venous access. Information was gathered by retrospective radiologic and hospital chart review.

RESULTS: All attempted placements were successful. Catheters were in place for a total of 3,510 catheter days. The average length of catheter placement was 121 days (range, 14-536 days). Life-table analysis predicted catheter function rates of 55% and 29% at 6 and 12 months, respectively. Three procedure-related complications occurred. A lower pole branch of the right renal artery was inadvertently entered with a 22-gauge needle during attempted IVC puncture in one patient without clinical sequelae. A second patient developed a small groin hematoma at the femoral venous puncture site, which resolved spontaneously. A third patient developed a moderate retroperitoneal hematoma, which resolved without specific intervention. The sepsis rate was 2.8 infections per 1,000 catheter days with an average time to infection of 127 days (range, 10-536 days).

CONCLUSION: In the authors' experience of 29 translumbar central venous catheter insertions, all attempts were successful. Percutaneous central venous access via the IVC is a safe and effective option for patients in whom more conventional access is not possible.

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