What is the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) with peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) compared to central venous catheters (CVCs)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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According to the results of a meta-analysis of 64 studies encompassing 29,503 patients, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) may double the risk for DVT in comparison with central venous catheters (CVCs). [68, 69] This was the largest review of the incidence, patterns, and risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) associated with PICCs yet published; however, the findings were limited by the absence of any published randomized trials.

Compared with CVCs, PICCs were associated with an increased risk of DVT (odds ratio [OR], 2.55; but not of pulmonary embolism (no events). [69] The frequency of PICC-related DVT was highest in patients who were critically ill (13.91%) and patients who had cancer (6.67%).

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