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Deteriorating Patient
Deteriorating Patient

Jugular Venous Pressure (JVP)

February 15th, 2021


  • Look For

  • The pulsation of the jugular vein, between the sternal and clavicular heads of the sternocleidomastoid.
  • How to Perform

  • Position the patient at 45 degrees and ask them to turn their head to the left. Hold a flashlight tangentially to the skin of the neck and inspect for the highest level of the jugular venous pulsation. Measure the vertical distance between the sternal angle and this level.
  • Interpretation

  • The JVP is elevated if the vertical distance between the sternal angle and the highest point of the pulse is greater than 3cm.
  • Causes of Elevated JVP

  • Fluid overload - excessive IV fluids, renal disease, heart failure
  • Right ventricular systolic failure - cor pulmonale, left ventricular failure
  • Right ventricular diastolic failure - constrictive pericarditis, tamponade
  • Pulmonary hypertension
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