The Use of Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography to Confirm Placement of Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters in Neonates Academic Article uri icon

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  • The use of plain radiographs in assessing the correct position of peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line tips is not always accurate. Ultrasound may be a better modality in detecting tip position and aid in line manipulation. We assessed the accuracy of plain radiographs in determining PICC line tip position compared with using targeted neonatal echocardiography (TnECHO) in a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit. Following PICC insertion, tip position was confirmed using TnECHO after the first radiograph. A 2 × 2 table was constructed to compare the two modalities' ability to detect line position. A total of 22 infants were included in the study with a gestation of 26.5 weeks (25.4 to 28.8) and birth weight of 833 g (710 to 1930). Concordance between radiographs and TnECHO for PICC line tip position occurred in 13 infants (59%). Sensitivity of radiographs in determining malposition was 64% with a specificity of 55%. Three infants were incorrectly identified to have deep lines and two infants were incorrectly identified to have short lines. In nine infants (41%), a second radiograph was avoided following line manipulation using TnECHO. TnECHO is a useful tool in identifying tip position, performing real-time manipulation, and minimizing exposure to further radiographs.


  • Jain, Amish
  • McNamara, Patrick
  • Ng, Eu-gene
  • El-Khuffash, Afif

publication date

  • February 2012