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J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Jun;47(6):1159-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2012.03.043.

Characterization of central venous catheter-associated deep venous thrombosis in infants.

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Section of Pediatric Surgery, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a frequent complication in infants with central venous catheters (CVCs). We performed this study to identify risk factors and risk-reduction strategies of CVC-associated DVT in infants.


Infants younger than 1 year who had a CVC placed at our center from 2005 to 2009 were reviewed. Patients with ultrasonically diagnosed DVT were compared to those without radiographic evidence.


Of 333 patients, 47% (155/333) had femoral, 33% (111/333) had jugular, and 19% (64/333) had subclavian CVCs. Deep venous thromboses occurred in 18% (60/333) of patients. Sixty percent (36/60) of DVTs were in femoral veins. Femoral CVCs were associated with greater DVT rates (27%; 42/155) than jugular (11%; 12/111) or subclavian CVCs (9%; 6/64; P < .01). There was a 16% DVT rate in those with saphenofemoral Broviac CVCs vs 83% (20/24) in those with percutaneous femoral lines (P < .01). Multilumen CVCs had higher DVT rates than did single-lumen CVCs (54% vs 6%, P < .01), and mean catheter days before DVT diagnosis was shorter for percutaneous lines than Broviacs (13 ± 17 days vs 30 ± 37 days, P = .02). Patients with +DVT had longer length of stay (86 ± 88 days vs 48 ± 48 days, P < .01) and higher percentage of intensive care unit admission (82% vs 70%, P = .02).


Deep venous thrombosis reduction strategies in infants with CVCs include avoiding percutaneous femoral and multilumen CVCs, screening percutaneous lines, and early catheter removal.

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