Brachial plexus neuropathy following attempt at subclavian vein catheterization

Terrence L. Trentman, Jeffrey D. Rome, Joseph M. Messick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives. The subclavian vein is often used for placement of central venous catheters, and the possibility exists of nerve injury as a complication of the procedure. Methods. A 58-year-old woman undergoing subclavian central catheter placement sustained a brachial plexus injury. A review of the English-language literature revealed no reports of brachial plexus injury during placement of a subclavian central catheter, although three reports were found in the non-English-language literature. Results. The anatomic relationship of the subclavian artery, vein, and brachial plexus at the supraclavicular triangle is described, and suggestions are given as to how to avoid this problem. Conclusions. Brachial plexus injury can occur with placement of subclavian central catheters, but proper technique should mini-mize this complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-165
Number of pages3
JournalRegional Anesthesia
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1996


  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Subclavian vein cannulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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