Objective: To provide evidence for selecting an appropriate peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) insertion technique by comparing the insertion success rate and the incidence of complications with 3 PICC insertion techniques.

Methods: We assigned enrolled patients to 3 groups according to the insertion technique selected by the individual patient: Group A, usual insertion technique (traditional, blind insertion); Group B, Modified Seldinger Technique (MST) insertion without ultrasound guidance; and group C, ultrasound-guided MST insertion. We compared the insertion success rate and the incidence of complications among these groups.

Results: When comparing these 3 PICC insertion techniques, no significant difference was seen with respect to the insertion success rate and the incidence of catheter malposition (P > 0.05), although a significant difference existed in the incidence of bleeding at the insertion site after the PICC procedure (P < 0.05), with the ultrasound-guided MST insertion technique superior to the other 2 techniques; the incidence of mechanical phlebitis and catheter occlusion during the use of PICC had no significant difference among the 3 groups (P > 0.05); but a significant difference was seen in the incidence of thrombosis and catheter-related infections (P < 0.05), with a lower incidence in the ultrasound-guided MST insertion group than that in the other 2 groups.

Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided MST insertion technique may address the problems occurring in patients with poor vascular access during the PICC procedure, whereas the usual insertion technique is the best choice for patients with good vascular access and poor economic status. Therefore, the selection of an appropriate insertion technique should be based on the economic and vascular status of the individual patient in clinical practice.

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