eISSN: 1731-2531
ISSN: 1642-5758
Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy
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vol. 54
Original paper

Ultrasound imaging and central venous pressure in spontaneously breathing patients: a comparison of ultrasound-based measures of internal jugular vein and inferior vena cava

Nicola Parenti
Luca Bastiani
Cesare Tripolino
Igor Bacchilega

  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Ospedale Maggiore “Carlo Alberto Pizzardi”, Bologna, Italy
  2. Institute of Clinical Physiology, Italian National Research Council, Pisa, Italy
  3. Department of Internal Medicine, “San Giovanni di Dio” Hospital, Crotone, Italy
  4. Department of Anesthesia, “Santa Maria della Scaletta” Hospital, Imola, Italy
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2022; 54, 2: 150–155
Online publish date: 2022/04/13
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Ultrasound evaluation of inferior vena cava and internal jugular vein dia­meters predicts the intravascular volume status in critical patients. The aim of the present study was to determine which ultrasound-derived index is most strongly associated with central venous pressure (CVP). Furthermore, we determined the utility of selected variables in predicting low volume status (CVP < 8 mmHg).

All patients underwent a transthoracic echocardiogram, vascular ultrasound examination, invasive central venous pressure, and intra-abdominal pressure determination. The following indexes were calculated: inferior vena cava diameter, internal jugular vein maximum diameter, collapsibility index, and internal jugular vein ratio.

41 spontaneously breathing patients were recruited. Central venous pressure significantly correlated with inferior vena cava diameter (r = 0.35, P = 0.02), internal jugular vein ratio (r = 0.35, P = 0.03), and internal jugular vein maximum diameter (r = 0.58, P < 0.001). The inferior vena cava collapsibility index did not show any association. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves to discriminate a low central venous pressure (< 8 mmHg) were the following: internal jugular vein diameter 0.80 (95% CI: 0.63–0.90); inferior vena cava diameter 0.66 (95% CI: 0.49–0.80); and internal jugular vein ratio 0.68 (95% CI: 0.51–0.82).

The internal jugular vein diameter, the internal jugular vein ratio, and the inferior vena cava diameter showed a significant correlation with central venous pressure. In particular, the internal jugular vein diameter showed good accuracy in predicting a low central venous pressure.


inferior vena cava, internal jugular vein, ultrasound, spontaneously breathing patients

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