The use of HeRo catheter in catheter-dependent dialysis patients with superior vena cava occlusion

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19 Scopus citations


Objectives: Hemodialysis (HD) patients with superior vena cava (SVC) occlusion have limited access options. Femoral access is commonly employed but is associated with high complication rates. Hemodialysis Reliable Outflow (HeRO) catheters can be used in tunneled catheter-dependent (TCD) patients who have exhausted other access options. The HeRO graft bypasses occlusion and traverses stenosis with outflow directly into the central venous circulation. At our institution we have used the inside-out central venous access technique (IOCVA) to traverse an occluded vena cava for HeRO graft placement. We review our experience with this technique. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients with HeRO graft placement at our institution. All were dependent on a tunneled femoral dialysis catheter due to central venous occlusion (CVO). The IOCVA technique was used in each case. This technique was used as last resort for patients who had no other dialysis access option. Demographics, patency rates, complications, and mortality were recorded. Results: A total of 11 HeRO grafts were placed in 11 patients from January 2012 to June 2013, with 100% technical success rate. Three grafts were ligated due to steal syndrome. Two grafts were lost due to thrombosis. Five of 11 patients experienced a 30-day complication. Three patients died within the follow-up period; however, none were directly related to the graft placement. Follow up range was 65-573 days; 5 of 11 grafts were used for dialysis at the end of the follow-up period. The 12-month patency rate was 30%. Conclusions: HeRO grafts are one option for dialysis patients with CVO. There is, however, a high incidence of steal syndrome and other complications. These grafts should be offered as a final potential alternative to catheter dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular Access
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wichtig Publishing.


  • Central venous occlusion
  • HeRO graft
  • Hemodialysis access
  • Inside-out technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Nephrology


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