Cephalic vein transposition is a durable approach to managing cephalic arch stenosis.
INTRODUCTION: The proximal cephalic vein that enters the axillary vein (cephalic arch) is a common site of stenosis in patients with upper extremity arteriovenous fistulas for hemodialysis (HD). In this study, we present the outcomes of a series of cephalic vein transposition, to determine its utility in the setting of refractory arch stenosis. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of patients undergoing cephalic vein transposition to manage refractory cephalic arch stenosis from January 1, 2008 to August 31, 2015. Demographics, past medical history, access history of the patients as well as procedural details of the surgery to the stenotic segment, patency of the access, and the need for subsequent interventions were recorded. RESULTS: Twenty-three patients underwent a cephalic vein transposition during the study period. The patients undergoing cephalic transposition had their current access for an average of 3.0 ± 2.6 years and had an average of 2.3 ± 0.9 interventions on the access prior to the surgery. Complications from the surgery were uncommon (8.7%) and no patient required a temporary tunneled dialysis catheter. The re-intervention rate was 0.2 ± 0.2 interventions per patient per year. At two years, primary patency was 70.9% and cumulative patency was 94.7% for the patients with cephalic transposition. CONCLUSIONS: Cephalic vein transposition is safe and effective treatment for cephalic arch stenosis without interrupting utilization of the access. The surgical approach to stenosis of the proximal cephalic vein is effective, requires minimal re-interventions, and should be considered for isolated, refractory cephalic arch stenosis in mature arteriovenous fistulas.
Henry, JC; Sachdev, U; Hager, E; Dillavou, E; Yuo, T; Makaroun, M; Leers, SA
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