Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Register      Login



Volume / Issue

Online First

Related articles

VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 2 ( April, 2010 ) > List of Articles


Finding on a chest radiograph: A dangerous complication of subclavian vein cannulation

Nataraj Srinivasan

Keywords : Central venous catheters, complication of subclavian vein cannulation

Citation Information : Srinivasan N. Finding on a chest radiograph: A dangerous complication of subclavian vein cannulation. Indian J Crit Care Med 2010; 14 (2):95-96.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.68225

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-06-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; The Author(s).


Cannulation of the subclavian vein has its inherent risks. Post procedure chest radiograph is one of the investigations done to rule out immediate complications. Unless the clinician is aware as to what to look for in the radiograph, some of the dangerous complications can be overlooked. Accidental subclavian artery cannulation is identified immediately by color and jet of the blood. Also the position of the catheter tip has to be confirmed by obtaining the arterial pressure tracing using a pressure transducer. Non availability of Doppler ultrasound and pressure transducer are limiting factors for immediate confirmation of proper catheter placement. Also, in patients with severe hypotension and reduced oxygen content of blood, accidental arterial puncture may not show the characteristic bright red pulsatile back flow of arterial blood. In these situations radiography can be used as a diagnostic tool to rule out subclavian artery cannulation.

PDF Share
  1. Wilson JN, Grow JB, Demong CV, Prevedel AE, Owens JC. Central venous pressure in optimal blood volume maintenance. Arch Surg 1962;85:563-78.
  2. Borja AR. Current status of infraclavicular subclavian vein catheterization: review of English literature. Ann Thorac Surg 1972;13:615-24.
  3. Dedhia HV, Schiebel F. What is wrong with this chest roentgenogram? Right subclavian artery cannulation. Chest 1987;92:921-2.
  4. Mansfield PF, Hohn DC, Fornage BD, Gregurich MA, Ota DM. Complications and failures of subclavian-vein cannulation. N Engl J Med 1994;331:1735-8.
  5. Civetta JM. Invasive catheterization. In: Shoemaker WC, Thompson WL, ed Critical care state of the art, vol 1, chapter 13. Fullerton CA: Society of Critical Care Medicine. 1980. p. 1-47.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.