Comparison of the visualisation of the subclavian and axillary veins

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To compare the area of the lumen of the axillary and subclavian veins using ultrasound (US) in 50 healthy volunteers” Roger et al (2016).

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To compare the area of the lumen of the axillary and subclavian veins using ultrasound (US) in 50 healthy volunteers.

METHODS: Using an ultrasound device, depth, area, short axis vein length and long axis vein, vein-artery and vein-pleura distances were measured for axillary and subclavian approaches.

RESULTS: The mean cross sectional area of the axillary vein was greater than the mean cross sectional area of the subclavian vein (327±89mm2 versus 124±46mm2, p<0.001). Both the mean transverse (10±2mm versus 9±2mm) and longitudinal axes (39±8mm versus 17±7mm) of the axillary vein were greater than those of subclavian vein (p < 0.01, p < 0.001, respectively). The depths of the axillary and subclavian veins were similar (21±6mm versus 20±6mm, p=0.43). The axillary and subclavian arteries were visualised in 3 and 45 volunteers, respectively (p<0.001). The pleura was seen in 25 and 37 volunteers with the axillary and subclavian approaches, respectively (p=0.01). The distance between the pleura and the subclavian vein was smaller (6±2mm versus 8±3mm, p<0.04).

CONCLUSION: The present US study shows that visualisation of the axillary vein under US is greater than that for the subclavian vein, mainly due to a better alignment with the long axis of the axillary vein leading to a greater cross sectional area of the axillary vein.

Reference:

Roger, C., Sadek, M., Bastide, S., Jeannes, P., Muller, L., Bobbia, X. and Lefrant, J.Y. (2016) Comparison of the visualisation of the subclavian and axillary veins: An ultrasound study in healthy volunteers. Anaesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine. August 2nd. Epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.1016/j.accpm.2016.05.007.

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