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Table of Contents
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 124-125

Obtaining external jugular venous access in the prone-positioned patient

Department of Anesthesiology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Newark, NJ, USA

Date of Web Publication15-Mar-2017

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Glen Atlas
185 South Orange Ave., Newark, 07103, NJ
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.202193

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How to cite this article:
Atlas G, Mosaad M, Chaudhry F, Gubenko Y. Obtaining external jugular venous access in the prone-positioned patient. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2017;33:124-5

How to cite this URL:
Atlas G, Mosaad M, Chaudhry F, Gubenko Y. Obtaining external jugular venous access in the prone-positioned patient. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Sep 21];33:124-5. Available from:


The anesthesiologist is more than occasionally confronted with having to obtain or “augment” intravenous (IV) access. This frequently occurs with changes in patient positioning. Moreover, “tucking” or adduction of the arms may create “resistance” and additionally interfere with the appropriate flow of IV fluids. Existing IV access may also “clot off” or infiltrate; despite previously working successfully.

Once in the prone position, the ability to obtain additional IV access can be challenging. The authors have utilized the external jugular vein (EJV) under these circumstances with relative ease [Figure 1]. On two occasions, EJV cannulation was achieved quickly. Furthermore, enough “backflow” was available to allow for venous blood gas assessment. Use of ultrasound guidance (USG) may also be beneficial to locate the vessel. In each of the two instances, the patients' arms were covered with padding and adducted. In addition, extensive hospitalization, obesity, and IV drug abuse made localization for peripheral venous access unobtainable; despite untucking of the patients' arms and employing USG and infrared-based optical devices.
Figure 1: The external jugular vein should be considered when vascular access is required in prone-positioned patients

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It should be noted that EJV pressures, in supine-positioned patients, have been utilized for volume status measurement and have been documented to correlate with internal jugular venous pressures.[1] However, central venous pressure, measured from the internal jugular vein in the prone position, does not appear to correlate with measurements obtained using transesophageal echo.[2] Other devices, such as the esophageal Doppler monitor, have been reported for volume assessment and management in prone-positioned patients.[3],[4] The anesthesiologist should be aware of the availability of the EJV should the need arise to obtain IV access in those patients who are in the prone position.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Abdullah MH, Soliman Hel D, Morad WS. External jugular venous pressure as an alternative to conventional central venous pressure in right lobe donor hepatectomies. Exp Clin Transplant 2011;9:393-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Soliman DE, Maslow AD, Bokesch PM, Strafford M, Karlin L, Rhodes J, et al. Transoesophageal echocardiography during scoliosis repair: Comparison with CVP monitoring. Can J Anaesth 1998;45:925-32.  Back to cited text no. 2
Wang D, Atlas G. Use of the esophageal Doppler monitor in prone-positioned patients. Abstract and poster presented at the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists Annual PGA. New York; 2009. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Jul 26].  Back to cited text no. 3
Yang SY, Shim JK, Song Y, Seo SJ, Kwak YL. Validation of pulse pressure variation and corrected flow time as predictors of fluid responsiveness in patients in the prone position. Br J Anaesth 2013;110:713-20.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure 1]


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