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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2003 May;14(5):527-34.

Central venous catheter tip position: a continuing controversy.

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Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, 510 South Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


There is continuing debate among physicians, nurses, and federal regulatory agencies regarding the correct position for the tip of a central venous catheter. The traditional approach has been to place the catheter tip within the superior vena cava. However, many interventionalists believe that the performance and durability of the catheter will be improved by positioning the catheter tip within the upper right atrium. Recently, this variability in clinical practice has become an increasingly divisive issue among physicians who insert these catheters and nurses who use them. This article is intended to elucidate the controversial issues and provide a brief review of the extensive literature on this important topic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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