The superiority of point of care ultrasound in localizing central venous line tip position over time

Nahla Zaghloul, Laura Watkins, Jennie Choi-Rosen, Shahana Perveen, Dalibor Kurepa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The primary objective was to study agreement between X-rays and point of care ultrasound (POC-US) in determining central venous line (CVL) tip position. The secondary objective was to examine malposition rates over time using POC-US. Fifty-six neonates were enrolled who had a CVL placed. Initial X-rays and POC-US were obtained. POC-US was performed daily thereafter for the total of 6 days. US video clips were acquired in four standard echocardiographic views: subcostal, four-chamber, and short- and long-axis parasternal views. Gwet’s agreement coefficient (AC1) for agreement measured inter-rater reliability of X-rays and POC-US (correct position/malposition). A generalized linear mixed model for binary clustered data estimated malposition rate over time. All analyses were conducted using SAS version 9.4 and Agree Stat. The study included 108 “pairs” of X-rays and POC-US images. Agreement coefficient (AC1), with respect to correct position/malposition of CVL tip, was high AC1 = 0.872 (UVC-AC1 = 0.814, PICC-AC1 = 0.94). Among birth weight (BW) < 1000 g, 1000–1499 g, and BW > 1500 g, AC1 values were 0.922, 0.774, and 0.873, respectively. CVL tip malposition rate decreased over time. Conclusions: Agreement between POC-US and X-rays for CVL tip position was high, with the highest in BW < 1000 g. The data suggest that POC-US can be used for initial confirmation and follow up of CVL tip position.What is Known• X-ray is currently the gold standard for localizing central venous line (CVL) tip position.• Malposition of CVL tip can lead to life-threatening complications.What is New• POC-US is superior to X-ray as it can follow CVL tip position over time, detecting malpositioned lines, adjusting them in a timely manner thus preventing complications.• Standardizing CVL placement, X-ray acquisition, POC-US acquisition with four views with video clips and ultrasound operator training increases accuracy and thus agreement between X-ray and POC-US.• UVC tip is more likely to be malpositoned than PICC tip. Malposition of UVC tip using POC-US decreased over time due to shrinking of the umbilical cord in the first 48 of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-179
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 12 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Agreement
  • Central venous line (CVL)
  • Echocardiographic views
  • Point of care ultrasound (POC-US)
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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