Gianturco Z-stent placement for the treatment of chronic central venous occlusive disease: implantation of 208 stents in 137 symptomatic patients

Diagn Interv Radiol. 2021 Jan;27(1):72-78. doi: 10.5152/dir.2020.19282.


Purpose: To report the technical successes, adverse events, and long-term stent patency rates of Gianturco Z-stents for management of chronic central venous occlusive disease.

Methods: Overall, 137 patients, with mean age 48.6±16.1 years (range, 16-89 years), underwent placement of Gianturco Z-stents for chronic central venous occlusions. Presenting symptoms included lower extremity edema (n=66, 48.2%), superior vena cava syndrome (n=30, 21.9%), unilateral upper extremity swelling (n=20, 14.6%), hemodialysis fistula or catheter dysfunction (n=11, 8.0%), ascites (n=8, 5.8%), and both ascites and lower extremity edema (n=2, 1.5%). Most common etiologies of central venous occlusion were prior central venous access placement (n=58, 42.3%), extrinsic compression (n=29, 21.2%), and post-surgical anastomotic stenosis (n=27, 19.7%). Number of stents placed, stent implantation location, stent sizes, technical successes, adverse events, need for re-intervention, follow-up evaluation, stent patencies, and mortality were recorded. Technical success was defined as recanalization and stent reconstruction with restoration of in-line venous flow. Adverse events were defined by the Society of Interventional Radiology Adverse Event Classification criteria. Primary and primary-assisted stent patencies were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier analysis.

Results: In total, 208 Z-stents were placed. The three most common placement sites were the inferior vena cava (n=124, 59.6%), superior vena cava (n=44, 21.2%), and brachiocephalic veins (n=27, 13.0%). Technical success was achieved in 133 patients (97.1%). There were two (1.5%) severe adverse events (two cases of stent migration to the right atrium), one (0.7%) moderate adverse event, and one (0.7%) mild adverse event. Mean follow-up was 43.6±52.7 months. Estimated 1-, 3-, and 5-year primary stent patency was 84.2%, 84.2%, and 82.1%, respectively. Estimated 1-, 3-, and 5-year primary-assisted patency was 92.3%, 89.6%, and 89.6%, respectively. The 30- and 60- day mortality rates were 2.9% (n=4) and 5.1% (n=7), none of which were directly attributable to Z-stent placement.

Conclusion: Gianturco Z-stent placement is safe and effective for the treatment for chronic central venous occlusive disease with durable short- and long-term patencies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency
  • Vena Cava, Superior / surgery