Jugular Notch Location, Function, Pain, Swelling, Palpation

The jugular notch, found on the upper section of the sternum (breastbone), is an important anatomical structure. It's an indentation on the front of the neck, right below Adam's apple, that can be felt or seen.

Healthcare professionals use the jugular notch as a reference mark because it is used to assess the depth of the jugular venous pressure, which is a rough way to measure the pressure in the right atrium of the heart. The venous pressure in the jugular vein is a valuable diagnostic tool for figuring out fluid balance, heart health, and parts of the cardiovascular system.

In addition to its therapeutic importance, the jugular notch has a number of practical applications. For instance, it can serve as a benchmark for the insertion of central venous catheters, which are used to deliver fluids, drugs, or other treatments straight into the veins of a patient's blood vessel system.


The suprasternal notch also referred to as the jugular notch or fossa jugularis sternalis, is a prominent depression that can be seen between the neck and clavicles, just above the sternum's manubrium. It is positioned at the posterior plane of the T2 vertebrae and represents the anterior intersection of the superior mediastinum. It can be seen and touched at the base of the neck. It is located anatomically between two attachment points for costal cartilages.

Jugular Notch Location, Function, Pain, Swelling, Palpation


The major purpose of the jugular notch is to act as a reference point for the assessment of the depth of the jugular venous pressure. This assessment is an indirect measurement of the pressure that is present in the right atrium of the heart. To assess fluid status, heart function, and other cardiovascular features, jugular venous pressure is a crucial diagnostic parameter.


It is uncommon to experience pain in the jugular notch. However, there are specific circumstances in which it can happen, such as when there are issues with the muscles and bones close to the sternum or when the cervical spine is compressed, resulting in internal jugular vein stenosis. Neck pain and swallowing difficulties are two symptoms that might manifest as tenderness in the jugular notch. It's crucial to get medical help right away in these situations.


There are many potential causes of swelling around the jugular notch, some of which are:

Joint inflammation: Joint diseases like costochondritis or sternoclavicular joint arthritis that affect the neck or chest can enlarge the area around the jugular notch.

Infection: Infections in the lungs, neck, or chest can result in jugular notch edema.

Tumors: An enlargement of the jugular notch region can also result from a mass or tumor in the neck, chest, or lungs.

Lymphadenopathy: A disorder known as lymphadenopathy causes swollen lymph nodes, which can also cause swelling in the jugular notch region.


The fossa jugularis sternalis sometimes referred to as the suprasternal notch or jugular notch, is located in the midst of the prominent medial terminal points of the clavicles. It is a prominent indentation positioned between the neck and clavicles, right above the manubrium of the sternum. Slide your finger toward the base of the sternum and palpate it to better understand its relationship to other anatomical components.

Jugular Notch Location, Function, Pain, Swelling, Palpation Jugular Notch Location, Function, Pain, Swelling, Palpation Reviewed by Simon Albert on February 02, 2023 Rating: 5
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