Consecutive, prospective case series of a new method for ultrasound-guided supraclavicular approach to the brachiocephalic vein in children

C Breschan, M Platzer, R Jost, H Stettner, A-S Beyer, G Feigl, R Likar
British Journal of Anaesthesia 2011, 106 (5): 732-7

BACKGROUND: During ultrasound (US)-guided cannulation of the subclavian vein (SCV) via an infraclavicular route, the view of the needle behind the clavicle may be obscured. This study describes the US-guided supraclavicular cannulation of the brachiocephalic vein (BCV).

METHODS: The 25 mm broadband linear array US probe was placed in the supraclavicular region to obtain a longitudinal view of the BCV beginning at the junction of the internal jugular vein and SCV. Using the in-plane technique, the needle was directed under US guidance into the BCV.

RESULTS: Forty-two cannulations in 35 patients (aged 26 months-8 yr, weight range 0.96-21 kg) were included. Central venous catheter placement was successful in all children. In 31 patients (73.8%), the BCV was successfully punctured on the first attempt, in six patients (14.2%) after two attempts, and in five patients (11.9%) after three attempts. Significantly more puncture attempts were needed in the smaller weight and younger children, whereas the time course of the study had no significant impact on the success rate.

CONCLUSIONS: This US-guided method offers a new possibility for central venous line placement in small children. It provides good needle guidance without any disturbing US shadow caused by bony structures.

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