Use of Paclitaxel Coated Drug Eluting Technology to Improve Central Vein Patency for Haemodialysis Access Circuits: Any Benefit?

Vasc Specialist Int. 2020 Mar 31;36(1):21-27. doi: 10.5758/vsi.2020.36.1.21.


Purpose: Central venous stenosis is a recurring problem affecting dialysis access patency. Increasing evidence suggests that the use of drug-coated balloons (DCBs) improves target lesion primary patency (TLPP) in dialysis access. However, few studies have investigated the use of DCBs specifically in central venous stenosis. Thus, this study presents our initial experience with DCBs in the central vein of a dialysis access circuit.

Materials and methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of all hemodialysis patients who underwent central vein angioplasty with DCB between February 2017 and March 2018 at Singapore General Hospital. We compared the primary patency post DCB angioplasty to the primary patency of the patient's previous plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA).

Results: We observed a 100% anatomic and procedural success rate with no complications. The median follow-up period was 151 days (interquartile range, 85.5-234 days) and no patients were lost to follow-up. The 30- and 90-day TLPPs after DCB were 93.3% and 75.7%, respectively. The mean primary patency in our study group post-DCB during the follow-up period was 164 days (vs. 140 days in the POBA group). However, no statistically significant difference was detected.

Conclusion: DCB showed a similar TLPP to that for POBA in treating central venous stenosis with a trend toward a longer re-intervention-free period for DCB. However, there were numerous confounding factors and a well-designed randomized controlled trial is warranted to assess the true utility of DCB in treating central venous stenosis.

Keywords: Balloon angioplasty; Central venous stenosis; Hemodialysis; Paclitaxel; Vascular patency.