Introduction: Currently, venography is the standard diagnostic method to examine veins before implementing access, which is invasive in nature.  Computerized tomography venography (CTV) can simultaneously indicate deep and superficial venous systems in the upper extremity and their relation to the surrounding anatomical structures; however, its diagnostic value in the detection of central venous disease has yet to be defined. The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of CT venography compared to venography in the diagnosis of stenosis and the occlusion of subclavian veins and the superior vena in renal failure patients.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from January to September 2015 on patients with chronic renal failure undergoing upper extremity venography at the Radiology Department of Imam Reza Hospital in Mashhad, Iran. We excluded patients with catheters in their jugular and subclavian vein routes, venous hypertension with reverse-function fistula, or sensitivity to contrast agents. Several factors, including age, gender, catheterization record in jugular and subclavian veins, and fistula record in the upper extremity, as well as clinical symptoms consisting of edema, dermatitis, and ulcers in these organs, were recorded in the corresponding form. Then, the patients consecutively underwent indirect venography and CT venography and traces of stenosis (more than 50%) or complete occlusion in the subclavian vein and superior vena were recorded. The data were analyzed using SPSS software by the chi-squared test, and sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated by means of MedCalc Online, version 16.2.

Results: The study was conducted on 40 patients (26 males and 14 females) with a mean age of 46.7 ± 10.4 years. In this study, 58 subclavian veins, as well as 32 superior vena cava, were studied. The results showed that the diagnostic value of CTV in the detection of subclavian stenosis had a sensitivity and a specificity of 88.2 and 97.5%, respectively. Moreover, in the superior vena cava, the greatest CTV diagnostic sensitivity and specificity was related to vein stenosis detection (sensitivity = 88.8%; specificity = 100%).

Conclusion: It seems that the CTV, based on its high sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value, can be used as an efficient tool in the study of stenosis in subclavian veins and superior vena in patients undergoing venography.


Keywords: Venography, CT venography, Hemodialysis, Renal failure, Central venous
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