Ultrasound-guided percutaneous insertion of Hickman lines in children. Prospective study of 500 consecutive procedures.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • G Arul
  • Natasha Lewis
  • Peter Bromley
  • JA Bennett

Colleges, School and Institutes


AIM The ultrasound-guided percutaneous technique of Hickman line insertion has not been widely adopted in pediatric surgical practice. We wished to review our own experience of using this technique for insertion into the internal jugular vein. METHODS Our vascular access team consists of a consultant surgeon and 2 consultant anesthetists. All procedures were prospectively recorded on a database and were either performed or directly supervised by our team. RESULTS Five hundred consecutive Hickman lines were inserted between June 2004 and October 2006. Patients' ages ranged from 14 days to 19 years (median, 44 months). Patients weighed between 600 g to more than 100 kg. Lines inserted were all tunneled silicone Hickman lines with a Dacron cuff (size 2.7F-10F, with 1-3 lumens), of which 60% were 7F double-lumen lines. Successful cannulation occurred in 99.8%. Perioperative complications (within 30 days) occurred in 12 patients (2.4%) and were all treated conservatively with no need for either blood transfusion or chest drain. Catheter-related sepsis rate was 3.16 per 1000 line days. DISCUSSION 1. The technique of ultrasound-guided percutaneous insertion of Hickman line to the internal jugular vein is safe and is applicable to all children regardless of size, age, or diagnosis. 2. Pediatric surgeons and anesthetists can learn this technique without specific training in interventional radiology. 3. A learning curve does exist, and we recommend concentrating pediatric vascular access procedures to a specialist team.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009