Journal Article

Alternative puncture site for implantable permanent haemodialysis catheters

R. Apsner, G. Sunder-Plassmann, M. Muhm and W. Druml

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 11, issue 11, pages 2293-2295
Published in print November 1996 | ISSN: 0931-0509
e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Alternative puncture site for implantable permanent haemodialysis catheters

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Vascular access represents a major problem in long-term haemodialysis patients. In patients without patent internal arteriovenous fistula, the implantation of cuffed catheters to provide a temporary or permanent central venous access is often necessary. Catheterization of the subclavian vein should be avoided because of the high risk of stenosis or thrombosis. The puncture of the internal jugular vein can be impossible in cases with stenosis or thrombosis due to previous catheterization. To overcome these limitations we evaluated an alternative puncture site for implantation of permanent central venous catheters.


The very low, most central jugular approach, first described by Rao et al., with the site of puncture just above the medial notch of the clavicle, was used to introduce Dacron cuffed dialysis catheters into the innominate vein in four chronic dialysis patients with impeded conventional vascular access.


In all four patients puncture of the internal jugular vein using Rao's technique was successful at the first attempt. All four catheters were introduced without any problems. Even in a case with thrombosis of the internal jugular vein and the ipsilateral subclavian vein, this technique was successfully applied. No complications such as haematoma, pneumothorax, or catheter-associated infection were observed. The catheters remained in situ for 2–12 months with excellent blood flow and without clinical evidence of venous stenosis or thrombosis.


In case of failure to cannulate the internal jugular vein by a conventional approach, the technique of Rao et al. can be used before sacrificing the subclavian vein or changing to exotic techniques such as translumbar, transfemoral or transhepatic methods.

Keywords: haemodialysis; permanent central venous catheter

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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