The chest radiograph has been the primary tool to identify the catheter tip location after bedside placement of central venous access devices (CVADs), especially with peripherally inserted central catheters. The targeted ideal landing zone for a CVAD has evolved over time to the lower third of the superior vena cava, near the juncture of the right atrium. This article will discuss the evolution in the narrowing of the ideal targeted zone for landing the CVAD tip, and the issues around perception of “seeing” the catheter tip in the chest radiograph that can be imprecise and inaccurate. A brief overview of emerging technologies that capitalize on individual patient's internal physiologic characteristics to better identify this ideal landing zone will be presented.

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