Characterization of the cephalic arch and location of stenosis

J Vasc Access. 2015 Jan-Feb;16(1):13-8. doi: 10.5301/jva.5000291. Epub 2014 Sep 2.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to accurately characterize the cephalic arch segments into four domains and to enable more specific evaluation of cephalic arch stenosis (CAS) and determine the frequency of stenosis in each domain.

Methods: After Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, a retrospective chart review was done to define a population of patients receiving hemodialysis who developed CAS as apparent on clinically indicated radiologic imaging. A standardized approach was devised to categorize four domains of the cephalic arch. Domain I was defined as the peripheral portion of the arch and Domain IV was the distal portion of the cephalic vein near termination with the axillary vein. The magnitude of stenosis as measured by percentage was determined and compared in the four domains.

Results: The most frequent location for stenosis was found in domain IV when compared with domains II or I (p<0.01). The magnitude of stenosis differed across all domains (p<0.001) with the least common place for CAS in domain I. Treatment of CAS included angioplasty in all, thrombectomy in eight, and stent placement in five.

Conclusions: CAS occurs most commonly in the terminal portion of the arch. Four standardized domains have been defined; future work will validate these findings and determine the best intervention for each domain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty / instrumentation
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Brachiocephalic Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachiocephalic Veins / surgery*
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / diagnosis
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / etiology*
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebography
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stents
  • Thrombectomy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Upper Extremity / blood supply*