Azygos vein cannulation: recognition is vital for preventing complications

  • Ragesh Panikkath Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • Sian Yik Lim
  • Deepa Panikkath
Keywords: Azygos vein, central venous line, central venous catheter, cannulation


Inadvertent cannulation of the azygos vein can occur during central vein cannulations,especially from the left side. This can cause several complications, including rupture ofthe azygos vein. This complication is unlikely from the more commonly used right internaljugular vein access, although that approach is not free of complications. An abruptcurve at the tip of the central venous catheter showing venous wave forms and highoxygen saturations suggest azygos vein cannulation. Azygos vein cannulations may bemore common in patients with heart failure in which the vein is dilated.


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How to Cite
Panikkath, R., Lim, S. Y., & Panikkath, D. (2013). Azygos vein cannulation: recognition is vital for preventing complications. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 1(4), 41-44. Retrieved from