Infraclavicular and supraclavicular approaches are used for subclavian venous catheterisation. We hypothesised that the supraclavicular approach is non-inferior to the infraclavicular approach in terms of safety during ultrasound-guided right subclavian venous catheterisation. We randomly allocated 401 neurosurgical patients undergoing ultrasound-guided right subclavian venous catheterisation into supraclavicular (n = 200) and infraclavicular (n = 201) groups. We assessed catheterisation-related complications (primary outcome measure) including catheter misplacement and mechanical complications (arterial puncture, haematoma formation, pneumothorax and haemothorax). We also recorded catheterisation success rates and time required for venous puncture and catheterisation. The number (proportion) of patients with catheterisation-related complications was six (3.0%) in the supraclavicular group and 27 (13.4%) in the infraclavicular group, mean difference (95%CI) −10.4% (−15.7 to −5.1%), p < 0.001, with a significant difference also seen for catheter misplacement. Except for a shorter time (median (IQR [range]) required for venous puncture in the supraclavicular group, being 9 (6–20 [2–138]) vs. 13 (8–20 [3–99]) s, the incidence of mechanical complications and other catheterisation characteristics were similar between the two groups. We recommend the supraclavicular approach for ultrasound-guided right subclavian venous catheterisation.
- catheterisation: central venous
- subclavian vein
- ultrasonography: interventional
- vascular access