Transthoracic intracardiac lines—A double edged sword

Gabriel Amir*, Esther Arfi-Levy, Eran Shostak, Ofer Schiller, Yuval Barak-Corren, Elchanan Bruckheimer, Amichai Rotstein, Georgy Frenkel, Einat Birk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Routine use of central venous access is needed in children undergoing open heart surgery for pressure monitoring and inotrope infusion. We sought to evaluate the efficiency and safety of routine use of transthoracic intracardiac lines (ICLs) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery and to compare them to patients who have been previously treated with traditional central venous lines (non-ICLs). Methods: Retrospective review of charts of all patients who underwent cardiac surgery and had an ICL inserted in the operating room. Case control matching was done with similar patient in which ICL was not inserted. Patients characteristics, diagnosis, operative, and intensive care data were collected for each patient and analyzed. Results: A total number of 376 patient records were reviewed (198 ICL patients and 178 non-ICL patients). Umbilical line and non-ICL durations were longer in the non-ICL group. ICL duration was the longest of all lines, averaging 12.87 ± 10.82 days. The necessity for multiple line insertions (˃2 insertions) was significantly higher in the non-ICL group, with a relative risk ratio of 3.24 (95% confidence interval: 1.617–6.428). There was no statistical difference of infections rate and line complications between the two groups. Conclusion: ICLs are safe in infants undergoing cardiac surgery and can be kept in place for a long period of time with a low rate of line complications and infection. Routine use of ICLs reduces the number of central venous catheter placement in this complex patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3253-3258
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • complications
  • congenital cardiac surgery
  • neonates
  • transthoracic lines


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