Comparative Sonoanatomy of Classic "Short Axis" Probe Position with a Novel "Medial-oblique" Probe Position for Ultrasound-guided Internal Jugular Vein Cannulation: A Crossover Study

Dalim Kumar Baidya, Chandralekha, Vanlal Darlong, Ravindra Pandey, Devalina Goswami, Souvik Maitra
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2015, 48 (5): 590-6

BACKGROUND: Ultrasound (US)-guided short-axis approach for internal jugular vein (IJV) cannulation does not fully protect patients from inadvertent carotid artery (CA) puncture. Carotid puncture is not rare (occurring in up to 4% of all IJV cannulations) despite the use of US.

OBJECTIVES: Compare the sonoanatomy of the "medial-oblique approach" probe position with the classic US-guided "short-axis" probe position, specifically: relation of internal CA and IJV; vertical and horizontal diameter of IJV; and degree of overlapping of IJV with CA.

METHODS: One hundred consecutive patients between the ages of 18 and 50 years, both male and female, and American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status classification system (ASA PS) I-II undergoing elective surgery under general anesthesia were recruited in this prospective, randomized, crossover, parallel-group study.

RESULTS: The transverse diameter of the IJV was found to be significantly higher in the medial-oblique probe position (p = 0.000, mean difference 0.43 cm; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34-0.52). The percentage of overlap was also significantly lower in the medial-oblique probe position (48.7 ± 10.7% in short-axis vs. 36.3 ± 13.2% in medial-oblique probe position; p = 0.000; mean difference 12.4%, 95% CI 9.1-15.8). However, there was no statistically significant difference in the anteroposterior diameter of the IJV between the two probe positions (1.11 ± 0.26 cm in short axis vs 1.07 ± 0.25 cm in medial oblique; p = 0.631).

CONCLUSION: The medial-oblique probe position for IJV cannulation provides sonoanatomic superiority over the classic short-axis probe position. Further randomized, controlled trials may confirm the medial-oblique view's clinical benefit in the future.

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