Early rupture of subclavian vein catheter: A case report and literature review

Giacomo Sarzo, C. Finco, F. Zustovich, P. Parise, S. Savastano, S. Degregori, M. Vecchiato, S. Merigliano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prolonged venous access devices (PVADs) have become indispensable in antiblastic protocols for the treatment of cancer patients, in anti-infection protocols for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients and in the management of chronic malabsorption syndromes. Using these catheters carries the risk of several complications, and some are potentially lethal, for example, cardiac embolization of catheter fragments. Rupture is a complication almost exclusive to catheters positioned percutaneously: after using this technique, device malfunction can occur due to catheter kinking after its excessively medial introduction in the subclavian vein. The early recognition of any pinch-off sign (POS) is fundamental in preventing catheter rupture that frequently follows this complication. Other factors can be involved in early rupture, for example, excessive force on a syringe used to clear a catheter that shows early signs of malfunction, or a strength defect in the materials used in the catheter construction. This report describes an early rupture case of an initially correctly positioned catheter and reviews 20 such cases in the recent literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular Access
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Catheters
  • Chemotherapy
  • Post-operative complications
  • Prolonged venous access devices
  • Venous access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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