Vein diameter for peripherally inserted cathether insertion: a scoping review

Sharp, Rebecca, Grech, Carol, Fielder, Andrea, Mikocka-Walus, Antonina and Esterman, Adrian 2016, Vein diameter for peripherally inserted cathether insertion: a scoping review, JAVA - journal of the Association for Vascular Access, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 166-175, doi: 10.1016/

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Title Vein diameter for peripherally inserted cathether insertion: a scoping review
Author(s) Sharp, Rebecca
Grech, Carol
Fielder, Andrea
Mikocka-Walus, AntoninaORCID iD for Mikocka-Walus, Antonina
Esterman, Adrian
Journal name JAVA - journal of the Association for Vascular Access
Volume number 21
Issue number 3
Start page 166
End page 175
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-09
ISSN 1557-1289
Keyword(s) basilic vein
brachial vein
cephalic vein
peripherally inserted central catheter
vein measurement
venous thromboembolism
Summary Background: The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) may be reduced if a vein of appropriate diameter is used forperipherally inserted central catheter (PICC) insertion. However, clinicians may have predilections to cannulate certainvein types and use particular insertion sites (eg, right or left arm) and therefore do not necessarily assess all veinsavailable to determine the most optimal vessel to introduce a catheter. It is important that clinicians have anunderstanding of the diameter of veins used for PICC insertion and the effect of patient factors such as hand dominanceon vein size to determine whether their clinical practice is appropriate.

Methods: A scoping review of published literature was performed to determine existing knowledge regarding thediameters of veins used for PICC insertion and the influence of patient factors such as hand dominance and laterality(left or right arm) on vein size.

Results: There was limited published research about the diameters of the basilic, brachial, and cephalic veins at themidupper arm, with only 6 studies identified. Three of the 6 selected articles focused on vein diameter measurement toinform arteriovenous fistula development. Only 1 study included participants undergoing PICC insertion. Scant researchexamined the effect of laterality on vein diameter and 1 study was identified that reported the influence of handdominance or vein type on the diameter of veins used for PICC insertion.

Conclusions: This review found that there is a paucity of studies that have examined the veins used for PICC insertion.Nevertheless, it appears that the basilic vein has the largest diameter (with smaller brachial and cephalic veins),although this is not always the case. Laterality and hand dominance does not seem to influence vein diameter. Furtherresearch about the vasculature used for PICC insertion is needed to inform clinical practice.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/
Field of Research 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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