Long-term silastic catheters and chest pain.

Passaro ME, Steiger E, Curtas S, Seidner DL
JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1994 18 (3): 240-2

PMID: 8065000 · DOI:10.1177/0148607194018003240

There are multiple reports in the literature of vascular erosion in the innominate vein or superior vena cava from the use of temporary central venous catheters. Catheter malposition is likely to precede the development of superior vena cava perforations, a catastrophic complication of central venous catheters. Catheter malposition after initial adequate placement is a very unusual long-term complication and delayed recognition of this complication may have disastrous consequences. Should the catheter change position so the tip is angled toward the sidewall, the repetitive movement of the catheter tip that occurs with respiratory excursion and the cardiac cycle may lead to endothelial injury and eventual erosion of the vein. These problems are thought to be alleviated in the patient receiving long-term intravenous therapy by using a soft Silastic catheter, which may not cause as much damage to the endothelium of the vein. We report three patients with left-sided long-term indwelling Silastic catheters that had changed position over time who presented with chest pain upon infusion of their total parenteral nutrition solutions. In each case, chest x-ray revealed that the tip of the catheter had migrated and was directed against the sidewall of the superior vena cava. In each case, catheter removal and replacement with a new catheter into the right side (subclavian and jugular systems) led to prompt relief of the patient's symptoms.

MeSH Terms (13)

Aged Aged, 80 and over Catheterization, Central Venous Chest Pain Endothelium, Vascular Female Humans Male Middle Aged Parenteral Nutrition, Total Radiography Vascular Diseases Vena Cava, Superior

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