Vascular Access Conversation - IVUPDATE Podcast from IVTEAM

"The supraclavicular approach to the subclavian vein has been cited as having many advantages to the infraclavicular approach, including a larger short-axis cross-sectional area, a greater margin of safety, and fewer complications" Sappenfield et al (2022).

Comparison of jugular and subclavian vein central venous access

Abstract:

Introduction: The supraclavicular approach to the subclavian vein has been cited as having many advantages to the infraclavicular approach, including a larger short-axis cross-sectional area, a greater margin of safety, and fewer complications.

Methods; To examine whether a larger short-axis cross-sectional area of the subclavian vein at the supraclavicular fossa is a potential explanation for the reduction in attempts with the supraclavicular approach seen in a previous study, we examined computed tomography scans from 50 patients (24 M, 26 F). The short-axis cross-sectional areas of the subclavian vein at the mid-clavicular line, the subclavian vein in the supraclavicular fossa, and the internal jugular vein at the level of the thyroid cartilage were calculated.

Results; The internal jugular vein short-axis cross-sectional area was significantly larger than the subclavian vein short-axis cross-sections measured at each location. We found no difference between the short-axis cross-sectional areas of the subclavian vein or when comparing measurements as a factor of gender, age, or race. Weight had a significant relationship to the short-axis cross-sectional area of the internal jugular vein and subclavian vein at the mid-clavicular vein.

Conclusions: On supine computed tomographic imaging, the subclavian vein short-axis cross-section was not larger in the supraclavicular fossa than the mid-clavicular line. The short-axis cross-sectional area of the subclavian vein at the supraclavicular fossa does not appear to contribute to the decrease in attempts to access it. Weight, but not necessarily height, appears to be correlated with central vein size.


Reference:

Sappenfield JW, Cooper LA, Heithaus RE, Lampotang S. A Comparison of Central Venous Access to the Internal Jugular Vein and Two Standard Approaches to the Subclavian Vein: A Study of Cross-Sectional Areas Using Computed Tomography Scans. Cureus. 2022 Apr 4;14(4):e23823. doi: 10.7759/cureus.23823. PMID: 35518551; PMCID: PMC9067328.