Ultrasound-guided internal jugular vein cannulation

Published - Written by Karen Buckley

Traditionally, when internal jugular vein cannulation has been performed, external anatomical landmarks and palpation have been used to guide insertion of the needle into the vessel. However, depending on the operator’s experience and the patient’s anatomy, this procedure may be difficult or unsuccessful. Over the past decade, the increased use of ultrasound to guide internal jugular vein cannulation has improved success rates, reduced the time required to perform the procedure, and resulted in fewer complications. This technique requires an understanding of the neck anatomy as well as skill in performing and interpreting the results of the ultrasound examination.

Our latest Video in Clinical Medicine demonstrates the equipment and techniques used to carry out real-time ultrasound-guided internal jugular vein cannulation. For a limited time, this video is available for free.

View the video and share your comments.

Do you use ultrasound-guided internal jugular vein cannulation in your institution? What have you found are the advantages and disadvantages?

The NEJM Video in Clinical Medicine series features peer-reviewed educational videos demonstrating procedural techniques as performed by experienced physicians. These videos are intended to supplement, and not replace, instruction from and supervision by experienced medical professionals. All videos also include a PDF summary of the procedure that is useful for teaching or reference. Videos are a subscriber-only benefit. View a list of all available videos now.