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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 685481, 5 pages
Clinical Study

An Ultrasound Study of Cerebral Venous Drainage after Internal Jugular Vein Catheterization

Department of Neuroanesthesia, Neurological Institute “C. Besta”, 20133 Milan, Italy

Received 27 February 2012; Accepted 12 March 2012

Academic Editor: Michael Blaivas

Copyright © 2012 Davide Vailati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. It has been advocated that internal jugular vein (IJV) cannulation in patients at risk for intracranial hypertension could impair cerebral venous return. Aim of this study was to demonstrate that ultrasound-guided IJV cannulation in elective neurosurgical patients is safe and does not impair cerebral venous return. Methods. IJV cross-sectional diameter and flow were measured using two-dimensional ultrasound and Doppler function bilaterally before and after IJV cannulation with the head supine and elevated at 30°. Results. Fifty patients with intracranial lesions at risk for intracranial hypertension were enrolled in this observational prospective study. IJV diameters before and after ultrasound-guided cannulation were not statistically different during supine or head-up position and the absolute variation of the venous flow revealed an average reduction of the venous flow after cannulation without a significant reduction of the venous flow rate after cannulation. Conclusions. Ultrasound-guided IJV cannulation in neurosurgical patients at risk for intracranial hypertension does not impair significantly jugular venous flow and indirectly cerebral venous return.