Ultrasound guidance improves the success rate of internal jugular vein cannulation. A prospective, randomized trial

D. L. Mallory, W. T. McGee, T. H. Shawker, M. Brenner, K. R. Bailey, R. G. Evans, M. M. Parker, J. C. Farmer, J. E. Parillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To compare conventional versus ultrasound-guided internal jugular vein cannulation techniques. Design: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either conventional or two-dimensional ultrasound-guided internal jugular vein cannulation. Patients who could not be cannulated with five or fewer passes by either technique, were crossed over to the other technique. Setting: Clinical research unit in a tertiary care center. Patients: All consecutive patients who required urgent or urgent-elective internal jugular vein cannulation during the study period. Interventions: The two-dimensional ultrasound transducer imaged all cannulation attempts. For patients randomized to ultrasound guidance, the operator viewed two-dimensional ultrasound images, and received verbal guidance from the ultrasound technician. For patints randomized to the conventional arm, two-dimensional ultrasound images were recorded without visual or verbal feedback. Measurements and Main Results: Two-dimensional ultrasound was significantly better than conventional guidance in reducing the number of failed site cannulations from 6/17 (35 percent), to 0/12 (0 percent), p < 0.05. Two-dimensional ultrasound also reduced the mean number of passes required to cannulate the vein from 3.12 to 1.75 (p < .05), and was also successful in six/six (100) of patients who failed cannulation by conventional means (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Intensivists can increase successful internal jugular vein cannulation using ultrasound guidance. Two-dimensional ultrasound should be considered for patients difficult to cannulate or those at high risk of cannulation complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-160
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrasound guidance improves the success rate of internal jugular vein cannulation. A prospective, randomized trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this