Central Venous Obstruction Management

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A major challenge in the management of hemodialysis patients is central venous stenosis and obstruction. Placement of central venous catheters has been shown to result in a high incidence of central venous stenosis or obstruction. There has been extensive literature on the treatment of this important and prevalent problem. Treatment options include percutaneous balloon angioplasty and bare metal stents. Unfortunately, all the available treatment options have variable rates of patency, requiring repeated intervention. More recently, covered stents have been mentioned in the literature for the treatment of central venous stenosis and obstruction. There is very little data to date, and further randomized controlled trials will be needed to compare the efficacy of percutaneous balloon angioplasty, bare metal stents, and covered stents. It appears prevention of this difficult problem is paramount, by limiting use of central venous catheters.

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