Perinatology.  2019 Jun;30(2):60-65. 10.14734/PN.2019.30.2.60.

Risk Factors of Central Venous Catheter Leakage in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Leakage of central venous catheter in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a serious complication that can lead to death. The purpose of this study was to identify the clinical signs of central venous catheter leakage, with related risk factors and to establish preventive measures.
This was a retrospective study of neonates admitted to the NICU between March 2012 and March 2017. Medical records and imaging were reviewed for clinical course and risk factors.
Total 603 neonates with central venous catheter were enrolled. Through fluid analysis, a total of 8 central venous leakages were identified (incidence 1.3%, 5 pericardial effusions, 1 pleural effusion, 2 ascites). After an average of 66.3 hours, leakage occurred from central venous catheterization. The mean volume of leakage fluid was 23.2 mL, and all culture studies were negative. Clinical manifestations related to leakage of patients with ascites were mild compared to pericardial effusion or pleural effusion. There was no recurrence after removal of the central vein catheter.
Central venous catheter leak should be suspected if sudden and/or marked change in the vital signs of neonates was identified after central venous catheterization. The multicenter study involving more patients will be necessary to identify risk factors for leakage.


Central venous catheters; Infant; newborn; Pericardial effusion; Pleural effusion

MeSH Terms

Catheterization, Central Venous
Central Venous Catheters*
Infant, Newborn
Intensive Care, Neonatal*
Medical Records
Pericardial Effusion
Pleural Effusion
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors*
Vital Signs



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