To determine the success and immediate complication rates associated with 3412 central venous catheter placements performed in an interventional radiology suite.
Success and immediate complication rates were prospectively recorded for 3412 consecutive patients who had central venous catheters radiologically placed at a tertiary care centre between July 1993 and October 2000. The indication for placement and the insertion site were also recorded.
The most common indication for both short- and long-term venous access was hemodialysis, and the right internal jugular vein was the most common site for catheter insertion. Placement was successful for 98.8% of tunnelled lines and 99.3% of temporary catheters. The rate for immediate complications (including pneumothorax, air emboli, bleeding and arterial puncture) for tunnelled catheter placements was 3.8% and for temporary catheter placements was 1.6%; no major complications were documented.
Our results lend further evidence to the claim that the success and immediate complication rates of radiologically placed central venous catheters compare favourably with blind placement and surgical placement of central venous catheters.