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Measurement of jugular venous pressure

Med J Aust 2010; 193 (1): 64.

To the Editor: Observing jugular venous pressure (JVP) is central to cardiovascular examination. Lewis, in 1930,1 was the first to report the use of the external jugular vein as a manometer for recording pressure in the right atrium. Unfortunately, some textbooks on clinical examination and many clinical teachers incorrectly state that the external jugular is unreliable for measuring JVP and that only the internal jugular should be used. The problem with this is that the internal jugular vein is located deep within the neck, where it is covered by the sternomastoid muscle and is therefore not usually visible.

  • David M Colquhoun
  • Glenn Jenkins

  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.

Correspondence: d.colquhoun@uq.edu.au

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