Catheter related right atrial thrombus
Temporary central venous hemodialysis (HD) catheters are commonly used in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients while awaiting peritoneal dialysis catheter, arterio-venous fistula or graft placement and maturation. Catheter-related right atrial thrombus (CRAT) is a common finding in patients with central venous catheters (CVCs) and can cause CVC to malfunction. The incidence of CRAT is about 29% with a mortality of 18.3% or greater if not identified and managed appropriately. Two major types of right atrial (RA) thrombi have been identified. Type A thrombus usually originates in the peripheral veins embolizing to the RA. Type B originates within a structurally abnormal RA and is usually attached to the chamber walls or foreign bodies like CVC or intra-cardiac wires. There is a high risk of thrombi embolization leading to pulmonary embolism as in our patient, systemic embolization if a right to left shunt is present and potential hemodynamic compromise. The optimal therapeutic approach is still a subject of discussion, but timely catheter removal with prompt initiation of systemic anticoagulation is key. Surgical management is pursued when medical therapy fails or if the thrombus is greater than 6 cm. Our case is that of a 30-year-old male with CRAT successfully treated with surgical embolectomy after the failure of systemic anticoagulation. This case highlights the importance of early detection of CRAT, initiation of optimal medical therapy and the need for surgical intervention when medical therapy fails.
Akanya DT, Parekh J, Abraham S, Uche S, Lancaster G. Catheter-Related Right Atrial Thrombus Requiring Surgical Embolectomy. Cureus. 2021 Sep 1;13(9):e17641. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17641. PMID: 34646689; PMCID: PMC8485875.