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HOME > Acute Crit Care > Volume 26(3); 2011 > Article
Original Article Relationship between Patient Height and Depth of Central Venous Catheter
Dong Jun Lee, Ui Jae Im, Ki Tae Kim

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Electrical Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
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Location of the tip of a central venous catheter (CVC) within the pericardium has been associated with potentially lethal cardiac tamponade. The purpose of this study was to show the relationship between the height of patients and the depth of CVC.
We enrolled 262 adult patients into this study. All patients were divided to three groups according to the height; Group S, M and L. Central venous catheterization was performed through the right subclavian vein and the CVC was fixed at the depth of 15 cm from the skin. The distance between the CVC tips and the carina was measured by chest X-ray and was analyzed.
The mean (SD) tip position placed via the right subclavian vein was 0.04 (1.6) cm above the carina; Group S, 0.01 (1.8) above the carina, Group M, 0.16 (1.4) above the carina, and Group L, 0.16 (1.8) below the carina. CVC locations could be predicted with a margin of error between 3.1 cm below the carina and 3.2 cm above the carina in 95% of patients. There was no significance difference among the three groups.
The relationship between the height of patient and the depth of CVC was low. Because many of the CVC tips were positioned below the carina regardless the height of patients on routine 15 cm-length method, it is recommended not to use the routine 15 cm method with right subclavian CVC placement as far as possible.

ACC : Acute and Critical Care