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A randomized trial of the Vein Viewer versus standard technique for placement of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) in neonates



Peripherally inserted central catheters are important but can be difficult to place in neonates. Therefore, we compared a near-infrared device, the Vein Viewer, to determine if its use would increase successful line placement, with standard techniques.

Study Design:

Randomized controlled trial in preterm and term neonates in a level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


In all, 115 subjects were enrolled with 59 randomized to the Vein Viewer group and 56 to the control group. Overall, use of the Vein Viewer showed a trend to more successful placement 86 versus 75%; unadjusted odds ratio 2.33 (0.90, 6.04; P=0.08). Infants randomized to the Vein Viewer were more mature (30±2 weeks gestational age (GA) versus 28±2 weeks GA; P=0.08). After adjusting for GA, use of the Vein Viewer was significantly more likely to lead to successful line placement (adjusted odds ratio 3.05 (1.10, 1.82)).


The Vein Viewer improved successful placement with the most benefit seen in infants of greater GA.

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Correspondence to K Phipps.

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Phipps, K., Modic, A., O'Riordan, M. et al. A randomized trial of the Vein Viewer versus standard technique for placement of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) in neonates. J Perinatol 32, 498–501 (2012).

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  • vascular access
  • vein visualization technology
  • newborn
  • successful venipuncture
  • venous catheterization

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