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Table of Contents
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 106-107
Difficult venous catheterization in internal jugular vein

Department of Cardiac Anaesthesia, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India

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Date of Web Publication1-Jan-2015

How to cite this article:
Raut MS, Arun M. Difficult venous catheterization in internal jugular vein. Ann Card Anaesth 2015;18:106-7

How to cite this URL:
Raut MS, Arun M. Difficult venous catheterization in internal jugular vein. Ann Card Anaesth [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jan 22];18:106-7. Available from:

The Editor,

A 55-year-old male patient with severe aortic valve regurgitation was scheduled for aortic valve replacement. After smooth anesthesia induction and intubation, we attempted to place a central venous pressure catheter via the right internal jugular vein (IJV), initially without ultrasound. IJV was easily punctured with 18 G needle using anatomic landmarks. Free back flow was observed, but the resistance was encountered while advancing j-tip guide wire. We then performed vascular ultrasound examination using Philips HD11 XE ultrasound system, and found to have a large venous valve in right IJV [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Further attempts on the right side were abandoned to avoid damage. Left IJV catheter was placed instead successfully under ultrasound guidance.
Figure 1: Left panel - short axis view showing unicuspid valve. Right panel - long axis view showing valve and flow direction in internal jugular vein

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Figure 2: Color flow Doppler image of internal jugular vein (IJV: Internal jugular vein, ICA: Internal carotid artery)

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Valve in IJV is seen in 90% of the individuals. [1] IJV valve is mostly located in the distal portion of the IJV, just proximal to the jugular bulb in the retroclavicular space. [2] This site makes the ultrasound assessment of the valve difficult with large ultrasound probes. The valve leaflet is commonly bicuspid (77-98%), but tricuspid W(0-7%) or unicuspid (1.4-16%) valves have also been observed. [3] Competent IJV valve is important in maintaining the transcranial blood pressure gradient during chest compression in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. [4] Central venous catheterization of the IJV can cause persistent incompetence of the IJV valve and thrombus formation on damaged valve. [1],[5] In the present case, we found the large unicuspid valve in IJV that itself an uncommon observation. Such a large valve could potentially have caused difficult passage of the guide wire of venous catheter. Any forceful attempt to overcome resistance could have damaged the valve. Ultrasound examination helped us to visualize IJV and find out the cause for difficult central venous catheterization.

   References Top

Furukawa S, Wingenfeld L, Takaya A, Nakagawa T, Sakaguchi I, Nishi K, et al. Morphological variations of the internal jugular venous valve. Anat Physiol 2012;2:108.  Back to cited text no. 1
Fukazawa K, Aguina L, Pretto EA Jr. Internal jugular valve and central catheter placement. Anesthesiology 2010;112:979.  Back to cited text no. 2
Harmon JV Jr, Edwards WD. Venous valves in subclavian and internal jugular veins. Frequency, position, and structure in 100 autopsy cases. Am J Cardiovasc Pathol 1987;1:51-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
Paradis NA, Martin GB, Goetting MG, Rosenberg JM, Rivers EP, Appleton TJ, et al. Simultaneous aortic, jugular bulb, and right atrial pressures during cardiopulmonary resuscitation in humans. Insights into mechanisms. Circulation 1989;80:361-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Wu X, Studer W, Erb T, Skarvan K, Seeberger MD. Competence of the internal jugular vein valve is damaged by cannulation and catheterization of the internal jugular vein. Anesthesiology 2010;112:979.  Back to cited text no. 5

Correspondence Address:
Monish S Raut
Department of Cardiac Anesthesia, Dharam Vira Heart Center, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Old Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi 110 060
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9784.148334

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]