The Effect of Head Position on the Cross-Sectional Area of the Subclavian Vein

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In 41 healthy volunteers, we investigated the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the subclavian vein (SCV) in the following head positions: neutral and 30° head rotation toward the contralateral or ipsilateral sides. Significant differences were observed in the CSA of the SCV at 3 different head positions: contralateral 30° versus neutral, −0.05 cm2 (95% confidence interval, −0.08 to −0.03); contralateral 30° versus ipsilateral 30°, −0.15 cm2 (−0.19 to −0.12); neutral versus ipsilateral 30°, −0.10 cm2 (−0.13 to −0.07); all Pcorrected< .001). For SCV catheterization, 30° head rotation to the ipsilateral side provided significant improvements in the CSA compared with the other head positions.

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