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Open Access

Are venous pressures obtained from femoral central lines comparable with pressure readings from neck lines?

  • V Poulose1,
  • S Chuin1,
  • A Tee1 and
  • C Tan1
Critical Care20059(Suppl 1):P59

Published: 7 March 2005


Public HealthHypertensionCatheterEmergency MedicineCentral Line


To evaluate whether femoral (femoro-iliac) venous pressures are comparable with the central venous pressures (CVP) obtained from neck lines. We hypothesised that there would not be a clinically significant difference in the readings, in the absence of intra-abdominal hypertension


Simultaneous measurements were taken from ICU patients who had both femoral and neck (superior veno-caval) central catheters in situ. Only 20 cm femoral lines were considered for the study. Hemodialysis catheters were included in the study. On each occasion, measurements were taken by two independent observers and recorded separately. Intra-abdominal pressures were also measured by the intra-vesical method. We estimated a difference > 2 cmH2O to be clinically significant


Thirty sets of readings were taken from 25 patients. Only two sets had a difference > 2 cm. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.054, paired t test). The femoro-iliac venous pressures correlated well with the superior vena-caval CVP (r2 = 0.721, P < 0.01).


Venous pressures from femoro-iliac central lines correlated well with CVP taken from neck lines.

Authors’ Affiliations

Changi General Hospital, Singapore


© BioMed Central Ltd 2005