Chapter 2. Applied Anatomy of the Central Veins

  1. Helen Hamilton CBE, FRCN, RGN Independent nurse consultant2 and
  2. Andrew R. Bodenham FRCA Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine3
  1. Jonathan Chantler FRCA, MBBChir, MRCP Consultant Anaesthetic Intensive Care Consultant

Published Online: 7 MAY 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470750186.ch2

Central Venous Catheters

Central Venous Catheters

How to Cite

Chantler, J. (2009) Applied Anatomy of the Central Veins, in Central Venous Catheters (eds H. Hamilton and A. R. Bodenham), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470750186.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Intravenous therapy, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust, Oxfordshire, Oxford, UK

  2. 3

    Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK

Author Information

  1. Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 MAY 2009
  2. Published Print: 11 FEB 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470019948

Online ISBN: 9780470750186



  • applied anatomy of the central veins;
  • knowledge of normal anatomy and common variations – important component of clinical practice;
  • inferior (IVC);
  • superior vena cava (SVC);
  • central venous pressure monitoring;
  • brachiocephalic veins;
  • major branch of SVC – azygos vein;
  • subclavian venous access;
  • microanatomy


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • What is a central vein?

  • Routes of access to a central vein

  • Anatomical variations of central veins

  • Where should the catheter tip lie?

  • Microanatomy

  • Adjacent structures

  • Choosing the best approach to the best vein

  • The best approach

  • Conclusion

  • References