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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2007 April;73(4):249-53


language: English

An accidental subclavian artery cannulation: successful catheter removal by percutaneous vascular stenting

Cipanio S. 1, Oggionio R. 1, Manganio V. 1, Bellandi G. 2, Ercolini L. 2, Michelagnoli S. 2

1 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Nuovo Ospedale S. Giovanni di Dio, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Vascular Surgery, Nuovo Ospedale S. Giovanni di Dio, Florence, Italy


Central venous catheterisation may sometimes be associated with life-threatening complications. Of these, subclavian artery puncture (infraclavicular approach), though seldom, (incidence 1-2%) following accidental arterial cannulation, may lead to arterial occlusion, embolism, pseudoaneurysms, vessel laceration or dissection or fatal hemorrhaging. Such complications may be even more severe in critically ill patients requiring systemic anticoagulation therapy or those with acute coagulation dysfunction. The authors report a case of an accidental cannulation of the subclavian artery with a central catheter and its successful removal using an endovascular cover stent positioned via a percutaneous approach. The cover stent can be employed to occlude arterial lacerations. This device was preferred because of the patient’s severe clinical condition (a 77-year-old woman with acute right heart thrombosis, atrial hyperkinetic arrhythmia, and cardiogenic shock requiring hemodynamic invasive monitoring and systemic thrombolysis) and because of the presenting anatomical and vascular characteristics (lack of space between introduction site and left ventricle, retroclavicular medial location) that did not permit a safe conventional surgical approach (thoracotomy). Echocolor Doppler sonography was a valuable aid in preoperative assessment, measurement of arterial diameter and cover stent sizing. The procedure was performed under general anesthesia 6 days after admission to the intensive care unit without sequelae. In conclusion, the endovascular procedure permitted safe removal of the arterial catheter without complications. A possible alternative to conventional procedures, the endovascular technique may offer an adequate choice for treating acutely ill patients ineligible for invasive interventions.

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