Dealing with stuck hemodialysis catheter: state of the art and tips for the nephrologist

Giacomo Forneris, Daniele Savio, Pietro Quaretti, Ilaria Fiorina, Pasqualina Cecere, Marco Pozzato, Marco Trogolo, Dario Roccatello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The term stuck catheter refers to the condition in which a catheter is not removable from a central vein using standard techniques. Although it is a rare complication, in the last few years it has been reported ever more frequently in hemodialysis due to the widespread use of tunneled catheters. Poor knowledge of the correct procedures and limited experience and training of the specialist in facing this problem are the main reasons for catheter internalization. Stuck catheter is often diagnosed by the nephrologist, who should be competent enough to manage this clinical complication. Among the many options for removing a stuck catheter from the fibrin sleeve, an interventional radiology approach, mainly with endoluminal balloon dilatation, probably provides the best solution. Vascular surgery should be reserved to selected cases in which percutaneous techniques have failed. Nephrologists must play a central role in organizing the treatment of this complication with other specialists in order to avoid making mistakes that may preclude future positive results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-625
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 25 2014


  • Embedded catheter
  • Internalization of central venous catheter
  • Retained catheter
  • Stuck catheter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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