The purpose of this project was to assess if the presence of a mediastinal mass adversely influences peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) positioning. A retrospective review of all PICC placements over an 18-month period in a pediatric oncology hospital was conducted in which patients were categorized by the presence or absence of a mediastinal mass. A much higher proportion of patients with a mediastinal mass (8 of 13) had a malpositioned catheter than those without a mass (3 of 38; P = .0002). A significant proportion of the malpositioned catheters in patients with a mediastinal mass terminated in the right heart chambers. These findings show that clinicians must be vigilant about checking for PICC malpositioning in this patient population.
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