Spontaneous Echo Contrast in Internal Jugular Veins: A Probable Indicator for Systemic Inflammation and a Prothrombotic State

Hung Yi Hsu, Chih Ping Chung, Shu Yi Chen, Yi Ying Chiang, Han Hwa Hu

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The hypothesis that spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) in the internal jugular vein (IJV) is a clinical indicator for systemic inflammation and thrombogenesis is investigated in this study. Fifty-two patients with cardiovascular diseases and 25 nondiseased subjects were evaluated. SEC was observed in 96 of 154 IJVs. The visual grading of SEC showed good interobserver agreement on SEC grades (κ value: 0.846, p < 0.001). Generalized estimating equations analysis was used for univariate and multivariate analysis. Univariate analysis showed that peak flow velocity in corresponding IJV (coefficient -0.001 [95% CI -0.019, -0.001], p = 0.031), jugular venous reflux (JVR, -0.010 [-0.019, -0.001], p = 0.002), plasma levels of fibrinogen (0.464 [0.208, 0.719], p < 0.001) and hs-C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (0.479 [0.184, 0.774], p = 0.001) and previous history of ischemic stroke (0.779 [0.139, 1.417]; p = 0.017) correlated with the grades of SEC in IJV. Increased plasma levels of fibrinogen and hs-CRP, previous ischemic stroke, lower peak velocity in corresponding IJV and JVR were also independent predictors for the higher grades of SEC in IJV in multivariate regression analysis. SEC in IJV could be evaluated easily and semiquantitatively. SEC in IJVs could be a putative marker of cerebral circulation disturbance and an indicator of systemic inflammatory or prothrombotic state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-932
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Fibrinogen
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Jugular vein
  • Spontaneous echo contrast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics

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