Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-98

Vascular access related complications with ipsilateral upper limb oedema in hemodialysis

1 Department of Nephrology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Radiology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sarala Settipalli
Department of Radiology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijves.ijves_68_18

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Background: Central vein-related obstruction is a growing problem in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD). Prior to central vein temporary access, failure to implement “fistula first policy” is an important contributor for this problem. It interferes with the outcomes in dialysis adding to mechanical vascular perturbations, resulting in limb, facial, and chest wall edema. Keeping them in view, we undertook this study on MHD patients, presented with central vein-related vascular access problems and ipsilateral upper limb edema, with the aim to investigate the vascular anatomical obstructive lesions causing the clinical syndrome and their management. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 25 patients of end-stage renal disease on MHD who manifested with vascular access dysfunction, presented with ipsilateral upper limb edema, and were the study subjects. All patients were evaluated with thorough clinical, laboratory, and computed tomographic (CT) angiography (CTAngio) studies to address the issues. Results: All patients had ipsilateral upper limb edema and 36% of them had in addition facial edema. Fifty percent had difficult cannulation with raising venous pressure during HD sessions and difficulty in securing hemostasis at the end of dialysis. CTAngio revealed central vein stenosis in 48%, peripheral stenosis in 20%, and combined central and peripheral stenosis in 32% patients. Cephalic arch involvement was noted in 16% patients. Depending on the patients preference, dialysis switched over to peritoneal dialysis in 24%, new vascular access was created in 20%, and balloon angioplasty in 16% during management. Conclusions: This study describes the central venous-related problems in MHD patients. We reiterate the importance of three early warning signs: high venous pressure, difficulty to achieve hemostasis at the end of dialysis, and ipsilateral limb, face, chest wall edema as the presage signs to suspect and exclude the underlying central vein obstructions. A continuum of management is discussed.

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