Definition of CVC

CVC: Commonly used abbreviation for a Central Venous Catheter, a catheter (tube) that is passed through a vein to end up in the thoracic (chest) portion of the vena cava (the large vein returning blood to the heart) or in the right atrium of the heart. Central venous catheters have a number of different uses, including the delivery of fluid or medications, monitoring of special blood pressures including the central venous pressure, the pulmonary artery pressure, and the pulmonary capillary wedge pressures, and the estimation of cardiac output and vascular resistance.

A central venous catheter is also called a central venous line. Sometimes, the "venous" is omitted and it is called a central catheter or central line.


Last Editorial Review: 9/27/2012

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