Infection of a subclavian venous stent in a hemodialysis patient

Am J Kidney Dis. 1995 Aug;26(2):377-80. doi: 10.1016/0272-6386(95)90661-4.


Endovascular stent placement to prevent restenosis after angioplasty is being increasingly employed. A 63-year-old hemodialysis patient with a right forearm gortex graft developed ipsilateral arm edema, and a right subclavian vein stenosis was diagnosed. This vascular stenosis was presumably secondary to previous placement of temporary access catheters. The subclavian vein stenosis was treated with angioplasty, endovascular stenting, and warfarin, which resulted in resolution of the arm edema. Three weeks after stenting, the patient developed fever to 104 degrees F, chills, and right arm and shoulder edema. All blood cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus, and an Indium-labeled white blood cell scan was positive at the sight of the subclavian stent. Infectious disease consultants recommended urgent removal of the infected stent, but the extensive surgery required posed considerable risk of major morbidity. We elected to conservatively treat the patient. With loss of all upper-extremity access sites, the patient was converted to peritoneal dialysis. Despite the patient's ambulatory status, a femoral venous Hickman catheter was placed and tunneled through the abdominal subcutaneous soft tissue. The patient received 9 weeks of antibiotics by the Hickman catheter with an infusion pump, and warfarin was continued. There has been complete clinical resolution of infection and subclavian thrombosis. Endovascular stents are being used more commonly, and this is the first description, to our knowledge, of a stent infection. The stent infection was successfully managed without surgical removal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / etiology
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / etiology*
  • Subclavian Vein*