Background. Several reports have proposed radiographic landmarks for the proper positioning of central venous catheters (CVC). The carina is one of the proposed landmarks in adults. Here, we evaluate the possibility of using the carina as a radiographic landmark for the identification of proper positioning of the CVC tip in paediatric patients. Methods. We studied 57 right internal jugular vein catheterizations in infants and children undergoing surgery for the treatment of congenital heart disease. After placing the CVC tip at the junction of the superior vena cava and the right atrium (SVC-RA junction) via intraoperative transoesophageal echocardiography, and by taking postoperative anterior-posterior chest radiographs, we measured the longitudinal distance from the carina to the SVC-RA junction, using the Picture Archiving and Communicating System. Results. The average distance between the carina and the SVC-RA junction was 1.5 cm (95% CI 1.3-1.8 cm). No catheter tip was above the carina. Although there was no particular relationship between this distance and the patient's age, height, or weight, the distance between the carina and the SVC-RA junction tended to be more variable in younger and smaller children. Conclusions. The carina can be used as a radiographic landmark for the proper CVC tip placement in paediatric patients. If the tip of the CVC is not distal to the carina the chances are minute that it is in the right atrium.
- Heart, central venous catheterization
- Measurement techniques, transoesophageal echocardiography, carina
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine