Ultrasound detection of guidewire position during central venous catheterization

Michael B Stone, Arun Nagdev, Michael C Murphy, Craig A Sisson
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2010, 28 (1): 82-4

INTRODUCTION: Ultrasound guidance decreases complications of central venous catheter (CVC) placement, but risks of arterial puncture and inadvertent arterial catheter placement exist. Ultrasound-assisted detection of guidewire position in the internal jugular vein could predict correct catheter position before dilation and catheter placement.

METHODS: Ultrasound examinations were performed in an attempt to identify the guidewire before dilation and catheter insertion in 20 adult patients requiring CVC placement. Central venous pressures were measured after completion of the procedure.

RESULTS: Guidewires were visible within the lumen of the internal jugular vein in all subjects. Central venous pressures confirmed venous placement of catheters. Ultrasound visualization of the guidewire predicted venous CVC placement with 100% sensitivity (95% confidence interval 80-100%) and 100% specificity (95% confidence interval 80%-100%).

CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound reliably detects the guidewire during CVC placement and visualization of the wire before dilation and catheter insertion may provide an additional measure of safety during ultrasound-guided CVC placement.

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