Positioning long lines: contrast versus plain radiography

Reece, A.; Ubhi, T.; Craig, A. R.; Newell, S. J.
March 2001
Archives of Disease in Childhood -- Fetal & Neonatal Edition;Mar2001, Vol. 84 Issue 2, pF129
Academic Journal
Aim-To assess the value of contrast versus plain radiography in determining radio-opaque long line tip position in neonates. Methods-In a prospective study, plain radiography was performed after insertion of radio-opaque long lines. If the line tip was not visible on the plain film, a second film with contrast was obtained in an attempt to visualise the tip. Results-Sixty eight lines were inserted during the study period, 62 of which were included in the study. In 31, a second radiographic examination with contrast was necessary to determine position of the tip. In 29 of these, the line tip was clearly visualised with contrast. On two occasions, the line tip could not be seen because the contrast had filled the vein and obscured the tip from view. Eight of the lines that required a second radiograph with contrast were repositioned. Conclusion-Intravenous contrast should be routinely used in the assessment of long line position in the neonate.


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