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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2009 July-August;75(7-8):471-4

language: English

Post placement positional atrial fibrillation and peripherally inserted central catheters

Elsharkawy H. 1, Lewis B. S. 2, Steiger E. 3, Farag E. 4

1 Institute of Anesthesiology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA;
2 Department of General Anesthesiology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA;
3 Department of Nutrition Support and Vascular Access, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA;
4 Departments of General Anesthesiology and Outcomes Research, Cleveland Clinic, OH, USA


Arrhythmias are common in hospitalized patients and during surgery. We present a case of positional atrial arrhythmia related to a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC). There are other documented case reports of ventricular tachycardia precipitated by body position changes with a PICC. The immediate correction of the arrhythmia with repositioning of the PICC strongly points to the PICC as the cause. This highlights the potential seriousness of cardiac arrhythmias precipitated by PICCs as well as the need for careful catheter placement and perioperative maintenance. Practitioners should consider PICC line tip position as a rare cause of positional atrial arrhythmias.

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