Purpose: To analyze the effectiveness of stent placement as the primary treatment for central venous obstruction in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
Material and methods: Fifty-seven Wallstents were placed in 50 patients with symptomatic shunt dysfunction and arm swelling due to central venous obstruction. Technical success, complication, and patency rates were evaluated.
Results: Stent deployment was successful in all patients, and early rethrombosis (within 1 week) was noted in one patient (2%). Seventy-three episodes of reobstruction occurred and were treated percutaneously with angioplasty alone in 54 cases (74%). Nineteen cases (26%) necessitated additional stent placement. The 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month primary patency rates were 92%, 84%, 56%, and 28%, respectively. Cumulative overall stent patency was 97% after 6 and 12 months, 89% after 24 months, and 81% after 36 and 48 months.
Conclusion: In the treatment of brachiocephalic and subclavian venous obstruction, stent placement shows excellent technical results and helps preserve vascular access for a substantial period. Multiple repeat interventions are, however, frequently required to maintain patency.