Avoiding postoperative malposition of upper body tunneled central venous catheters in children: Evaluating technique and depth of placement

Joshua Gish, Tiffany Wright, Samir Gadepalli, Marcus Jarboe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background Suboptimal position of tunneled central venous catheters (Broviacs) decreases long-term catheter longevity, incurring morbidity and cost. We postulated that catheter malposition is related to patient's age, technique used, and initial catheter tip location (CTL). Methods We performed a retrospective review with 1-year follow-up of Broviacs placed in patients at our children's hospital from 3/2010 to 10/2013. We defined malposition as a noncentral CTL that required replacement, excluding catheters physically dislodged. We used logistic regression to determine whether age, technique and CTL predicted malposition with p-value < 0.05 deemed significant. We analyzed line longevity for different insertion techniques by survival analysis. Results Overall, 404 upper body Broviacs were placed in 282 children (median age = 1.4 years [IQR:0.45–5.35]). Thirty-six (8.9%) were replaced for malposition, at median of 84.5 days [IQR:36–159]. We found that older children were less likely to develop malposition (OR = 0.91,p = 0.002). Adjusting for patient age and placement technique, catheters placed ≥ 1.5 vertebral bodies below the carina were less likely to be malpositioned (OR = 0.37,p = 0.015). Cox-regression shows the lateral technique to have the lowest rate of malposition within 90 days (HR = 0.30,p = 0.03). Conclusion Older patients and lines placed 1.5 vertebral bodies below the carina are less likely to become malpositioned. Using the lateral approach for insertion improves catheter longevity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1340
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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