Migration of Jugular or Subclavian Venous Catheters Into Inferior Tributaries of the Brachiocephalic Veins or Into the Azygos Vein, With Possible Complications

Pediatr Radiol. 1996 Jul;26(7):439-49. doi: 10.1007/BF01377198.


Six children are reported in whom a central venous catheter from the internal jugular or the subclavian vein migrated to an anomalous position: the left superior intercostal vein in the first two cases, the thymic vein in the third, and the azygos vein in the last three. Resultant complications in five cases were: extravasation of the infusate in the first and third case; local vascular stenosis or complete vascular occlusion in the second and fifth case; and obstruction of the azygos arch due to local thrombosis and possible stenosis, with a likely extravasation of the infusate, in the sixth case. The mediastinal vascular anatomy related to these central venous catheters is reviewed with reference to similar and related cases in the literature.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Azygos Vein* / anatomy & histology
  • Brachiocephalic Veins* / anatomy & histology
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation
  • Child, Preschool
  • Constriction, Pathologic / etiology
  • Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials / etiology
  • Foreign-Body Migration / complications*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jugular Veins
  • Male
  • Pleural Effusion / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Subclavian Vein
  • Thrombosis / etiology