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Central venous stenosis (CVS) is encountered frequently among hemodialysis patients” Krishna et al (2016).


Central venous stenosis (CVS) is encountered frequently among hemodialysis patients. Prior ipsilateral central venous catheterization and cardiac rhythm device insertions are common risk factors, but CVS can also occur in the absence of this history.

Chronic CVS can cause thrombosis with partial or complete occlusion of the central vein at the site of stenosis. CVS is frequently asymptomatic and identified as an incidental finding during imaging studies. Symptomatic CVS presents most commonly as an upper- or lower-extremity edema ipsilateral to the CVS. Previously unsuspected CVS may become symptomatic after placement of an ipsilateral vascular access. The likelihood of symptomatic CVS may be affected by the central venous catheter (CVC) location; CVC side; duration of CVC dependence; type, location, and blood flow of the ipsilateral access; and extent of collateral veins. Venous angiography is the gold standard for diagnosis. Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stent placement can improve the stenosis and alleviate symptoms, but CVS typically recurs frequently, requiring repeated interventions. Refractory symptomatic CVS may require ligation of the ipsilateral vascular access. Because no available treatment option is curative, the goal should be to prevent CVS by minimizing catheters and central vein instrumentation in patients with chronic kidney disease and dialysis patients.


Krishna, V.N., Eason, J.B. and Allon, M. (2016) Central Venous Occlusion in the Hemodialysis Patient. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. August 1st. .

doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2016.05.017.

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