The location of the tip of an umbilical arterial catheter is referred to as high or low based on its location relative to vertebral bodies in an AP radiograph.

Location of Tip


L3 to L4


T6 to T10



A tip from T11 to L2 could be designated as intermediate.


Pollack and Roloff consider tip placement to be ideal if located from T7 to T9.


High placement is associated with fewer complications than low placement and so is the preferred location for the catheter tip.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.