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Power Injectable Peripherally Inserted Central Venous Catheter Lines Frequently Flip After Power Injection of Contrast

Lozano, Luis Antonio Sosa MD; Marn, Charles MD; Goodman, Lawrence R. MD, FACR

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography:
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182575b88
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Imaging

Objective: To determine the frequency of power injectable peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PIPICC) displacement after contrast injection for computed tomography.

Materials and Methods: We included all patients who had a computed tomographic examination with contrast administration via PIPICC over a 4-month period. Several variables including catheter location before and after the injection were documented. Descriptive statistics were used for continuous variables. The χ2 test was used to compare groups. Continuous variables were analyzed using the Student t test.

Results: Among 78 injections in 67 patients (34 men and 33 women; median age, 49 years), there were 12 catheter displacements (15.4%): 5 (62.5%) of 8 catheters initially located proximal to the tracheobronquial angle (TBA) and 7 (10.14%) of 69 catheters initially located distal to the TBA. The initial catheter position before the injection correlated with the frequency of displacement significantly (P < 0.006). Contrast injection rate and amount of contrast were no risk factors for position change. There were no complications.

Conclusion: Catheter displacement occurred in 62.5%, with PIPICCS cephalad to the TBA. A preliminary scout view should be checked before the contrast injection. In addition, a postinjection scan scout view is recommended to verify catheter position.

Author Information

From the Department of Radiology, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Received for publication January 18, 2012; accepted March 21, 2012.

Reprints: Luis Antonio Sosa Lozano, MD, Department of Radiology, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226 (e-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.