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Effect of Head Rotation on Jugular Vein Patency Under General Anesthesia

  • Mark A. Burbridge (a1), Jung Gi Min (a2) and Richard A. Jaffe (a1)


Head rotation causes compression and occlusion of the ipsilateral internal jugular (IJ) vein. This can result in raised intracranial pressure and increased bleeding if the patient is having or has recently had surgery. The amount of head rotation in adults resulting in occlusion of the ipsilateral IJ vein is unknown however. We measured the amount of head turn that produced occlusion of the ipsilateral IJ vein in 25 patients having surgery under general anesthesia. On average, 80% of IJ veins occlude at a mean of 55.6° on the left and 53.3° on the right.

Les effets de la rotation de la tête sur la perméabilité de la veine jugulaire en cas d’anesthésie générale. Des rotations de la tête peuvent entraîner une compression et une occlusion de la veine jugulaire interne ipsilatérale. Cela peut en retour provoquer une pression intracrânienne accrue et une augmentation des saignements si le patient est en train de subir une chirurgie ou s’il en a récemment subi une. Le degré de rotation de la tête qui entraîne une occlusion de la veine jugulaire interne ipsilatérale demeure toutefois inconnu. Nous avons mesuré chez 25 patients sous anesthésie générale le degré de rotation de la tête ayant produit une telle occlusion. En gros, 80 % des veines jugulaires se sont en moyenne obstruées à 55,6 degrés à gauche et à 53,3 degrés à droite.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Mark A. Burbridge, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive Palo Alto, Stanford, CA 94304, USA. Email:


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Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
  • ISSN: 0317-1671
  • EISSN: 2057-0155
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-neurological-sciences
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