Venous valves in subclavian and internal jugular veins. Frequency, position, and structure in 100 autopsy cases.

J. V. Harmon, W. D. Edwards

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Valves in the subclavian and internal jugular veins were studied in 100 autopsy cases (52 men and 48 women; range, 18 to 91 years old; mean, 67 years). In 87 cases, valves were present in all 4 veins, and in 13 cases, valves anatomically were absent from 16 veins, 9 of which were the left internal jugular vein. The average distance from the valve to the junction with the innominate vein was 1.7 cm for the subclavian vein and 0.3 cm for the internal jugular vein. Cuspid height averaged 0.9 cm. Valves were bicuspid in 347 (90%) and unicuspid in 39 (10%); unicuspid valves were more common in the internal jugular vein than in the subclavian vein. Catheter-induced trauma was observed in 4 cases and implied in 4 more. These findings may have important implications concerning the failure, in some cases, of closed-chest cardiac resuscitation to maintain forward blood flow at adequate pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalThe American journal of cardiovascular pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1987


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