Effect of hip abduction and external rotation on femoral vein exposure for possible cannulation.
BACKGROUND Femoral vein (FV) catheterization is required for critically ill patients, patients with difficult peripheral intravenous access, and patients undergoing major surgery. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of hip abduction with external rotation (frog-leg position), and the frog-leg position during the reverse Trendelenburg position on diameter, cross-sectional area (CSA), exposed width and ratio of the FV using ultrasound investigation. METHODS Ultrasonographic FV images of 50 adult subjects were obtained: 1) in the neutral position (N position); 2) in the frog-leg position (F position); 3) in the F position during the reverse Trendelenburg position (FRT position). Diameter, CSA, and exposed width of the FV were measured. Exposed ratio of the FV was calculated. RESULTS The F and FRT positions increased diameter, CSA and exposed width of the FV significantly compared with the N position. However, the F and FRT positions had no significant effect on exposed ratio of the FV compared with the N position. The FRT position was more effective than the F position in increasing FV size. CONCLUSIONS The F and FRT positions can be used to increase FV size during catheterization. These positions may increase success rate and reduce complication rate and, therefore, can be useful for patients with difficult central venous access or at high-risk of catheter-related complication.