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Transhepatic approach for cardiac catheterisation in children: initial experience
  1. K A McLeod,
  2. A B Houston,
  3. T Richens,
  4. N Wilson
  1. Department of Cardiology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow G3 8SJ, UK
  1. Dr McLeod


AIM To assess initial experience of cardiac catheterisation in children by the transhepatic approach where conventional venous access is impossible.

PATIENTS AND METHODS Percutaneous transhepatic cardiac catheterisation was performed on six occasions in five children (three male) aged 4 to 36 months (mean 17 months). All children had documented femoral venous occlusion and all but one had occlusion of the superior vena cava. Ultrasound was used in five of the six procedures to help identify a large hepatic vein. A 4 F or 5 F sheath was introduced into the vein using the Seldinger technique. In the fourth patient, hepatic venous access was obtained immediately without the assistance of ultrasound.

RESULTS Percutaneous transhepatic catheterisation was successfully performed at all six attempts. Total procedure time ranged from 120 to 200 minutes (mean 138 minutes) and screening time from 14 to 22 minutes (mean 16.8 minutes). A serious complication was encountered in only one patient who had a retroperitoneal bleed after administration of thrombolysis for loss of femoral arterial pulse.

CONCLUSIONS The percutaneous transhepatic technique can provide a safe alternative approach for cardiac catheterisation in children with multiple venous occlusion. The procedure can be performed very simply using the Seldinger technique and equipment normally used for conventional venous cannulation for cardiac catheterisation.

  • cardiac catheterisation
  • transhepatic approach
  • congenital heart defects

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