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Radiol Med. 2013 Jun;118(4):608-15. doi: 10.1007/s11547-012-0894-6. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Placement of port-a-cath through the right internal jugular vein under ultrasound guidance.

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Scuola di Specializzazione di Radiologia Diagnostica ed Interventistica, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via A Di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milano, Italy.



This study was undertaken to demonstrate the effectiveness of ultrasound (US)-guided placement of porta-cath (PC) through the right internal jugular vein (RIJV) by evaluating the onset of early and late complications.


From 30 June 2008 to 30 June 2011, we placed 695 port-a-caths in 694 patients with a mean age of 58 years. Exclusion criteria were active infection, bleeding disorders and life expectancy <6 months. The procedures were performed in the angiography suite under local anaesthesia. After US-guided puncture of the RIJV, the subcutaneous pocket was prepared, followed by tunnelling of the vein and closure of the surgical wound. In order to evaluate pneumothorax (PNX), all patients underwent chest X-ray a few hours after the end of the procedure unless there were clinical indications. We evaluated the technical success of the procedure and the rate of complications.


Technical success was achieved in all cases. The device was kept in place for an average of 168 days. There was one case of PNX (0.14%) as shown on chest X-ray and five cases of late complications (0.70%): one case of intracatheter thrombosis (0.14%), two cases of disconnection between the reservoir and catheter (0.28%) and two cases of PC infection (0.28%).


This procedure incurs very small number of complications compared with other positioning techniques using accesses such as the subclavian vein. Complications recorded in our study are comparable, in type and incidence, to those found by other authors, with the most frequent being device infection.

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