Percutaneous placement of Hickman catheters: comparison of sonographically guided and blind techniques.

AJR. American journal of roentgenology

PubMedID: 2120941

Laméris JS, Post PJ, Zonderland HM, Gerritsen PG, Kappers-Klunne MC, Schütte HE. Percutaneous placement of Hickman catheters: comparison of sonographically guided and blind techniques. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1990;155(5):1097-9.
We studied the value of sonographically guided puncture of the subclavian vein for placement of indwelling right atrial and permanent subcutaneously tunneled catheters (Hickman) for long-term venous access. The commonly used blind puncture is associated with complications such as pneumothorax, arterial puncture, and hemothorax. The results and complications of 40 sonographically guided punctures and fluoroscopically controlled catheterizations of the subclavian vein (group 1, 31 patients) performed in the radiology department were compared with those of 40 blind percutaneous punctures and fluoroscopically controlled catheterizations (group 2, 29 patients) performed in the operating room. The patients were selected consecutively. The groups were comparable in age, sex, and indication for catheter placement; administration of chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies was the major indication (group 1, 84%; group 2, 83%). All punctures in group 1 were successful; group 2 had two failures (5%). Puncture-related complications occurred significantly more in group 2 (10%) than in group 1 (0%) (p less than .05). These complications were pneumothorax in three cases and hemothorax in one. Complications not related to the puncture technique were prolonged bleeding at the entrance site (groups 1 and 2, two cases each), local infection (group 1, one case), thrombosis (group 1, three cases; group 2, two), catheter sepsis (group 1, 10 cases; group 2, 14), catheter occlusion (group 2, three cases), and catheter migration (groups 1 and 2, two cases each). We conclude that sonographically guided puncture increases the success rate and significantly decreases the puncture-related complications of percutaneous placement of Hickman catheters.