Conservative management of iatrogenic superior vena cava (SVC) perforation after attempted dialysis catheter placement: case report and literature review


      A 68-year-old male with end-stage renal disease, congestive heart failure, and facial and bilateral arm swelling was referred for placement of a tunneled dialysis catheter. Distal left subclavian vein access was obtained. The procedure was complicated by iatrogenic perforation of the superior vena cava (SVC). This resulted in rapid development of a right-sided hemothorax and hemodynamic instability. A right-sided thoracostomy tube was placed to drain the pleural cavity.
      Extrapericardial perforation of the SVC can be managed conservatively in select cases without endovascular balloon dilatation and/stent graft deployment or surgical repair provided the antegrade blood flow is maintained via patent collateral circulation.


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