What complications should be expected from getting chemo through PICC line placed in artery?

Posted on Sat, 23 Jun 2012 in Cancer
Question: Dr Kreuger, What are the complications we should expect from our 16 yo son getting his chemo through the PICC line placed in an artery rather than in the vein when being treated for Hodgkins Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. J. Krueger 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

This is a very good question. Most commonly, a PICC line is placed into a vein, not an artery, for chemotherapy delivery.

Complications of arterial catheter placement include infection, clot formation, and loss of blood flow to the hand or foot. These side effects are uncommon, but serious if they occur.

The family should ask the chemotherapy doctor to clarify why the PICC was placed in the artery. Catheters are usually only placed in the artery if the patient is in the intensive care unit due to severe heart or breathing problems.

Dr. Krueger
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. J. Krueger 2 hours later
The PICC Line was mistakenly placed in the artery. It caused Brachial Plexus Neuropathy and generalized neuropathy, severe vomiting and a stroke .What longer term complications should we expect?
Answered by Dr. J. Krueger 35 hours later
Hello and thanks again,

I am sorry to hear your son had complications from a PICC mistakenly placed in an artery. It is likely the Brachial Plexus Neuropathy and stroke were secondary to the mistaken placement.

I would not expect severe vomiting or generalized neuropathy from a mistaken placement. The family should ask the chemotherapy doctor if these complications are from something else.

I would not expect any other long term complications.

Hope I have answered all your queries.

Best Regards
Dr. Krueger
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Answered by
Dr. J. Krueger

Oncologist, Radiation

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 8 Questions


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