To describe an ultrasound-guided technique for central venous catheter placement via the external jugular vein (EJV) in pigs.
96 healthy Landrace–Poland China barrows (approx 16 weeks old with a mean weight of 70 kg).
Pigs were anesthetized. With ultrasound guidance, a needle was inserted into the EJV without a large incision or cutdown procedure. A guidewire was inserted through the needle into the vein. A modified Seldinger technique was used to advance a catheter into the vessel until the tip was in the cranial vena cava near the right atrium. A trocar was used to create a tunnel through the subcutaneous tissues from the catheter insertion site to between the dorsal borders of the scapulae. The free end of the catheter was passed through that tunnel. An extension was attached to the catheter and secured to the skin. Pigs were euthanized and underwent necropsy at completion of the study for which they were catheterized.
Central venous catheters were successfully placed in all 96 pigs and facilitated collection of serial blood samples with minimal stress. Catheters remained in place for a mean of 6 days (range, 4 to 10 days). Necropsy revealed abscesses along the subcutaneous catheter tract in 9 pigs. Twenty pigs had histologic evidence of phlebitis and fibroplasia in the cranial vena cava.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
The described technique, in combination with extensive socialization, allowed serial collection of blood samples with minimal stress and restraint and is an alternative to surgical cutdown procedures for catheter placement. (Am J Vet Res 2021;82:760–769)