Persistent left-sided SVC is present in approximately 0.3% to 0.5% of the population

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A review of a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest with contrast done on a prior admission revealed a duplicated SVC on the left side that had not been reported in the original CT scan interpretation” Paik et al (2018).

Abstract:

Central venous catheters are placed in approximately five million patients annually in the US. The preferred site of insertion is one with fewer risks and easier access. Although the right internal jugular vein is preferred, on occasion, the left internal jugular may have to be accessed. A patient was admitted for septic shock, cerebrovascular accident, and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. A central venous line was needed for antibiotic and vasopressor administration. Due to trauma from a fall to the right side and previously failed catheterization attempts at the left subclavian and femoral veins, the left internal jugular vein was accessed. On chest radiography for confirmation, the left internal jugular central venous catheter was seen projecting down the left paraspinal region. It did not take the expected course across the midline toward the right and into the superior vena cava (SVC). A review of a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest with contrast done on a prior admission revealed a duplicated SVC on the left side that had not been reported in the original CT scan interpretation. A left-sided SVC is present in approximately 0.3% to 0.5% of the population, with 90% of these draining into the coronary sinus. During placements of central venous lines and pacemakers, irritation of the coronary sinus may result in hypotension, arrhythmia, myocardial ischemia, or cardiac arrest. A widened mediastinum can be an indication of a duplicated SVC. When attempting a left internal jugular vein central venous catheter placement, it is important to be aware of venous anomalies in order to prevent complications.

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Reference:

Paik, P., Arukala, S.K. and Sule, A.A. (2018) Right Site, Wrong Route – Cannulating the Left Internal Jugular Vein. Curēus. 10(1), p.e2044.

doi: 10.7759/cureus.2044.

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