Intensive Care Med. 2001 Jan;27(1):301-5.
The Internal jugular veins are asymmetric. Usefulness of ultrasound before catheterization.
Lichtenstein D, Saïfi R, Augarde R, Prin S, Schmitt JM, Page B, Pipien I, Jardin F.
Service de Réanimation Médicale, H pital Ambroise-Paré, Boulogne, France.
OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate an asymmetry of the internal jugular veins, a finding which will have consequences for catheterization.
DESIGN: Prospective study.
SETTING: The medical ICU of a university-affiliated teaching hospital.
PATIENTS: Eighty critically ill consecutive patients.
INTERVENTION: Measurement of the cross-sectional area of the internal jugular veins. Search for an asymmetry, defined as an area at least twice that of the contralateral vein.
RESULTS: An asymmetry was noted in 62.5% of the patients. The dominant vein was the right in only 68 % of these cases. In addition, 23% of the 160 jugular internal veins had an area of 0.4 cm2 or less.
CONCLUSIONS: Using a simple technique, ultrasound identifies the dominant internal jugular vein, thus indicating the safer side before blind catheterizationhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11280654