Unusual mechanical complications of central venous catheterization

Nurkay Katrancioglu


Objectives: To present an unusual major mechanical complication of central venous catheterization (CVC). 


Methods: Between January 2016 and January 2017, data of the patients who underwent CVC in Cumhuriyet University in Sivas, Turkey, were retrospectively reviewed. The patients who experienced an unusual mechanical catheter-related complication are included in this study. Other complications of central venous catheter placement, except mechanical catheter complications such as infection or thrombosis, were excluded from the study.



Results: A total of 236 consecutive patients who had undergone CVC were found. Nine patients (3.8%) were found to have unusual major mechanical catheter complications. Most noteworthy complications occurred when the catheter was placed in the arcus aorta, ductus thoracicus, pleural cavity, and abdominal cavity. The most common observation in patients with major complications was that CVC had been carried out in the absence of ultrasonic or fluoroscopic guidance owing to emergency situations.


Conclusion: The use of CVC is associated with potential major complications occurring particularly during emergency situations. We believe that the use of radiological guidance during CVC could reduce unusual major mechanical complication rates even during an emergency situation.

Saudi Med J 2019; Vol. 40 (3): 287-291
doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.3.23520

How to cite this article:
Katrancioglu N. Unusual mechanical complications of central venous catheterization. Saudi Med J. 2019 Mar;40(3):287-291. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.3.23520.


Central venous catheterization; unusual catheter complications; ultrasound guidance

Full Text:



Reusz G, Csomos A. The role of ultrasound guidance for vascular access. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 2015; 28: 710-716.

Richards MJ, Edwards JR, Culver DH, Gaynes RP. Nosocomial infections in medical intensive care units in the United States. National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System. Crit Care Med 1999; 27: 887-892.

Pittet D, Tarara D, Wenzel RP. Nosocomial bloodstream infection in critically ill patients: excess length of stay, extra costs, and attributable mortality. JAMA 1994; 271: 1598-1601.

Merrer J, De Jonghe B, Golliot F, Lefrant JY, Raffy B, Barre E, et al. Complications of femoral and subclavian venous catheterization in critically ill patients: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2001; 286: 700-707.

Odendaal J, Kong VY, Sartorius B, Liu TY, Liu YY, Clarke DL. Mechanical complications of central venous catheterisation in trauma patients. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2017; 99: 390-393.

McGee DC, Gould MK. Preventing complications of central venous catheterization. N Engl J Med 2003; 348: 1123-1133.

Randolph AG, Cook DJ, Gonzales CA, Pribble CG. Ultrasound guidance for placement of central venous catheters: a meta-analysis of the literature. Crit Care Med 1996; 24: 2053-2058.

Oom R, Casaca R, Barroca R, Carvalhal S, Santos C, Abecasis N. Transitioning from anatomic landmarks to ultrasound guided central venous catheterizations: guidelines applied to clinical practice. J Vasc Access 2017; 18: 328-333.

Deitel M, McIntyre JA. Radiographic confirmation of site of central venous pressure catheters. Can J Surg 1971; 14: 42-52.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Saudi Medical Journal is copyright under the Berne Convention and the International Copyright Convention.  Saudi Medical Journal is an Open Access journal and articles published are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (CC BY-NC). Readers may copy, distribute, and display the work for non-commercial purposes with the proper citation of the original work. Electronic ISSN 1658-3175. Print ISSN 0379-5284.