Role of Internal Jugular Venous Ultrasound in suspected or confirmed Heart Failure: A Systematic Review

J Card Fail. 2022 Apr;28(4):639-649. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.08.009. Epub 2021 Aug 19.


Background: Few data are available on the use of internal jugular vein (IJV) ultrasound parameters to assess central venous pressure and clinical outcomes among patients with suspected or confirmed heart failure (HF).

Methods: We performed electronic searches on PubMed, The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, EBSCO, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases from the inception through January 9, 2021, to identify studies evaluating the accuracy and reliability of the IJV ultrasound parameters and exploring its correlation with central venous pressure and clinical outcomes in adult patients with suspected or confirmed acutely decompensated HF. The studies' report quality was assessed by Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 scale.

Results: A total of 11 studies were eligible for final analysis (n = 1481 patients with HF). The studies were segregated into 3 groups: (1) the evaluation of patients presenting to the emergency department with dyspnea, (2) the evaluation of patients presenting to the HF clinic for follow-up, and (3) the evaluation of hospitalized patients with acutely decompensated HF or undergoing right heart catheterization. US parameters included IJV height, IJV diameter, IJV diameter ratio, IJV cross-sectional area, respiratory compressibility index, and compression compressibility index.

Conclusions: The findings of this systematic review suggest a significant role for ultrasound interrogation of the IJV in evaluation of patients in the emergency department presenting with dyspnea, in the outpatient clinic for poor clinical outcomes in HF, and in determining the timing of discharge for patients admitted with acutely decompensated HF. Further studies are warranted for testing the reliability of the reported ultrasound indices.

Keywords: Heart failure; internal jugular vein ultrasound; reliability; systematic review; validity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheterization, Central Venous*
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Heart Failure* / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Reproducibility of Results