Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation

: 2010  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 975--978

Prevalence of central vein stenosis following catheterization in patients with end-stage renal disease

Minoo Naroienejad, Dariush Saedi, Asieh Rezvani 
 Department of Radiology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Minoo Naroienejad
Department of Radiology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 13185-1678, Tehran


To determine prevalence of central vein stenosis following catheterization with double-lumen temporary catheters, we performed color Doppler sonography in 100 consecutive patients. We detected central vein stenosis in 18 cases; 11 patients in subclavian vein (SCV), 4 patients in internal jugular vein (IJV) and SCV, 2 patients in SCV and brachiocephalic vein, and 2 patients in IJV stenosis. There were statistical difference between groups with and without ste­nosis regarding time from discontinuation of catheters and use of aspirin (ASA). We could not find any statistical difference between these two groups regarding age, sex, duration of having chronic kidney disease (CKD), and duration of catheter remaining in place. We also found that there was a high proportion of stenosis in patients who still had catheter in their veins (15 from 44 patients, 34%) in comparison with patients who had already the catheters removed from their veins (3 from 56 patients, 5%). We conclude that stenosis of central veins can result from long indwelling time of central catheter used for hemodialysis. Aspirin may have a protective role against stenosis.

How to cite this article:
Naroienejad M, Saedi D, Rezvani A. Prevalence of central vein stenosis following catheterization in patients with end-stage renal disease.Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2010;21:975-978

How to cite this URL:
Naroienejad M, Saedi D, Rezvani A. Prevalence of central vein stenosis following catheterization in patients with end-stage renal disease. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Apr 23 ];21:975-978
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Full Text


Central venous access devices are necessary part of designed treatment plan for many me­dical conditions such as end-stage renal di­sease (ESRD), malignancy, intravenous nut­ritional support and conditions requiring pa­rental therapy. [1] Between three and four million central venous access devices are placed annually for acute and chronic uses. [2] These de­vices could be complicated in many ways; the two major complications are infection and thrombosis. [3] Occurrence of the latter in tem­porary central venous catheters is especially troublesome because it limits using vessels of the arms on the side of catheterization for creating fistulas (AVF) or grafts (AVG) in future. These catheters are non-cuffed non­tunneled catheters used in emergency cases of dialysis, in the presence of malfunction of the permanent vascular access or when the patient needs hemodialysis, but created arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) or grafts (AVG) is not mature enough to be used. [4] Only a small proportion of patients with thrombosis become symptomatic after catheterization. They present with extre­mity massive pain and edema. However, many patients remain asymptomatic till creation of AVF or AVG, which result in high blood flow in the vein having stenosis. This is the time when many patients, previously asymptomatic, reveal complications. [5],[6] In addition to symp­toms, stenosis can result in inadequacy and failure of AVF and AVG as accesses for hemodialysis on the side of catheterizations.

We aimed to investigate the prevalence and the predisposing factors of central venous stenosis following catheterization of subcla­vian vein (SCV) or internal jugular vein (IJV) in ESRD patients with temporary double­lumen central catheters.

 Materials and Methods

This cross-sectional study was performed in the radiology and dialysis deprtment of Shahid Hasheminezhad hospital in Tehran during 2006-2007. We had a total of 100 patients in our cross-sectional study referred to our center for hemodialysis; 67 (67%) patients were male and 33 (33%) patients were female with a mean age of 48.2 ± 17.52 years. The mean duration of chronic renal disease in our patients was 3.14 ± 4.13 years. All of patients had undergone at least one session of central venous catheterization by temporary double­lumen catheters; 81 patients in the SCV and in 19 patients in the IJV. The SCV was cathe­terized in the left side in 17 (21%) cases and in the right side in 64 (79%) cases, while IJV was catheterized in the left side in 5 (26.3%) cases and in the right side in 14 (73.7%) cases. Forty four patients still had catheter in their veins and 56 patients did not have catheter in their veins at time of Doppler screen. There was no statistical difference in side of catheterization between these two veins (Chi-square test, P value = 0.21). Duration of having catheter in their veins was 1.00 ± 0.83 months and the time from removal of catheter was 21.90 ± 39.78 months. Twenty two patients were using ASA as anticoagulant drug and remaining 78 cases had no history of any anticoagulant drugs. All the patients underwent color Doppler sono­graphy of SCV and IJV of both sides using Technus-MP device to detect and measure the severity of the venous stenosis.

 Statistical Analysis

Numerical variables were presented as mean ± SD, while categorized variables were sum­marized by absolute frequencies and percen­tages. For the statistical analysis, the statistical software SPSS version 11.0 for windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL) was used. Bivariate analysis was performed using the T-test and the chi­square test. All P values were 2-tailed, with statistical significance defined as P value < 0.05.


Only 18 cases (18%) were document to have stenosis in their veins; 11 patients with SCV stenosis, 4 patients with concomitant IJV and SCV stenosis, 2 patients with concomitant SCV and brachiocephalic veins stenosis and 2 pa­tients with IJV stenosis. All thromboses were at the side of catheterization. Of the 18 pa­tients who showed stenosis in their veins, 15 patients (34.09%) still had catheter in their veins and 3 patients (0.05%) did not have ca­theter in their veins at time of Doppler screen.

Data regarding age, sex, duration of having CKD, duration of catheter remaining in the place, time from catheter removal and ASA consumption of patients with and without stenosis are shown in [Table 1], which compares the stenotic and the nonstenotic groups. The group with stenosis had catheter less time after removal of catheters and received less ASA less frequently than and non stenotic group at time of screen prevalence of stenosis (P < 0.05).{Table 1}


We found a prevalence of 18% for stenosis following catheterization of central vein in our study patients. There was no difference in prevalence of stenosis either in the type of central vein or side of catheterization. We could not find any difference between the patients with and without stenosis with regard to age, sex, duration of CKD and duration of catheter remaining in place. But these patients were different in the time interval from catheter removal and the use of aspirin. We also found that there was a high proportion of stenosis in patients who still catheter had present in their veins in comparison with patients who had already removal catheter from their veins at time of Doppler screen.

Studies on the pathophysiology and histolo­gical characteristics of changes in vessels fol­lowing injury are mostly performed in animal models. These studies illustrated the occur­rence of a dynamic response of vessel wall in response to injury with different characteristic changes during the different time intervals from injury. [1],[2] During the early days after ca­theter insertion, there is a focal endothelial da­mage and denudation and non-cellular throm­bosis formation with no sign of organization. [7],[8],[9] When time passes in the absence of ongoing injury the lesions heal; otherwise, they under­go a process of organization with a resultant smooth muscle injury, deposition of collagen fibers, vessel wall thickening, and endothelia­lization, which can cause a permanent ste­nosis. [10],[11],[12]

Most of clinical studies on CVS following catheterization in ESRD patients are per­formed on permanent catheters, which have a long indwelling time. These studies have shown greater prevalence of stenosis in pa­tients with SCV catheterization in comparison with IJV catheterization, left-sided catheteri­zation, 13 longer indwelling time, more frequent catheterization, [14],[15] more dialysis sessions, [16] and associated infections. [17] They also demons­trated possible effects of catheter properties [18],[19] and catheter tip position [20] on the development of stenosis. These factors can accentuate either initial injury or facilitate evolution of the le­sions. On the other hand, the prevalence of ste­nosis is about 20% shortly after catheterization with temporary catheters, which showed no difference in the rate of stenosis between SCV and IJV catheterization. [21]

The role of ASA as a protective factor may be explained by its anti-inflammatory and anti­coagulation effects. Although timing of chan­ges of the lesions in animals cannot be ex­tended to explain human changes, the animal studies demonstrated necessity of at least few months before the development of stable le­sions. In our study, the mean time after the indwelling of catheters was only one month, which is not a short time for chronic changes to develop, since a few days have been ade­quate for the initial injury in animal models. Differences due to the absence or presence of catheters and time interval from catheter re­moval may be explained by the process of resolution noted in the histological studies indicated above.

Following the patients for a longer period could enable us to comment on different views of chronic dynamic pattern, which requires a longer time to occur than that achieved in our study. Moreover, as previous studies have shown, sensitivity of color doppler sonography in detecting stenosis is about 80%, and we have probably missed some cases of stenosis in our study. [4]

We conclude that the insertion of catheters in central veins induces a pathological process that can result in venous stenosis. Using aspi­rin may have a preventive role of stenosis.


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