Peripherally inserted central catheters for calcium requirements after successful parathyroidectomy: a comparison with centrally inserted catheters

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Intravenous calcium supplements are often required following parathyroidectomy to avoid postoperative hypocalcaemia. The aim of this study was to compare application effect of a femoral central venous catheter (CVC) and peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) on intravenous calcium supplements after parathyroidectomy.


We retrospectively reviewed the hospital records of 73 patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism who underwent a successful parathyroidectomy at the Huashan Hospital attached to Fudan University between 1 April 2011 and 1 February 2016.


Of the 73 study participants, 39 (53.4%) had a PICC and 34 (46.6%) had a CVC, respectively. Patients in the CVC group needed 6–7 days of intravenous calcium supplements, while patients in PICC group needed only 2–3 days to achieve normal serum calcium concentration (2.2–2.6 mmol/L). Furthermore, the duration of calcium supplementation was 71.62 ± 4.48 hours in PICC group and 100.4 ± 5.43 hours in CVC group (P < 0.05). Of the patients in PICC group, the incidence of catheter occlusion, operation failure and hypocalcaemia was 0%, which was significantly lower than those in CVC group (2.56%, 7.69% and 7.69%, respectively).


PICC is a safe and efficient alternative in contrast to CVC for providing venous access for calcium supplementation in surgical patients after parathyroidectomy.

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