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