A novel skin-traction method is effective for real-time ultrasound-guided internal jugular vein catheterization in infants and neonates weighing less than 5 kilograms

Anesth Analg. 2009 Sep;109(3):754-9. doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e3181b01ae3.


Background: Internal jugular vein (IJV) catheterization in pediatric patients is sometimes difficult because of the small sizes of veins and their collapse during catheterization. To facilitate IJV catheterization, we developed a novel skin-traction method (STM), in which the point of puncture of the skin over the IJV is stretched upward with tape during catheterization. In this study, we examined whether the STM increases the cross-sectional area of the vein and thus facilitates catheterization.

Methods: This was a prospective study conducted from December 2006 to June 2008. We enrolled 28 consecutive infants and neonates weighing <5 kg who underwent surgery for congenital heart disease. The patients were randomly assigned to a group in which STM was performed (STM group) or a group in which it was not performed (non-STM group). The cross-sectional area and diameter of the right IJV in the flat position and 10 degrees Trendelenburg position with and without applying STM were measured. We determined time from first skin puncture to the following: (a) first blood back flow, (b) insertion of guidewire, and (c) insertion of catheter. Number of punctures, success rate, complications, and degree of IJV collapse during advancement of the needle (estimated as decrease of anteroposterior diameter during advancement of the needle compared with the diameter before advancement) were also examined.

Results: STM significantly increased the cross-sectional area and the anteroposterior diameter of the IJV in both positions. The time required to insert the catheter was significantly shorter in the STM group, probably mainly due to a shorter guidewire insertion time. The degree of IJV collapse during advancement of the needle was much lower in the STM group.

Conclusions: STM facilitates IJV catheterization in infants and neonates weighing <5 kg by enlarging the IJV and preventing vein collapse.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / methods
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / congenital
  • Heart Diseases / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jugular Veins / anatomy & histology*
  • Jugular Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin
  • Traction / methods*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*