Recurrent Brachiocephalic Vein Stenosis as a Cause for Persistent Left-sided Transudative Pleural Effusion in a Hemodialysis Patient

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Background: Effusion is common in dialysis patients. The most common causes include fluid overload due to renal failure and nonrenal causes like congestive heart failure and infection. We here report a case of left side transudative effusion due to brachiocephalic venous stenosis.

Methods: A 34-year-old female who had chronic kidney disease V during transplant work-up was found to be having left arm swelling and left transudative effusion. Work-up for transudative effusion did not show any cardiac cause or liver problem. Her dialysis duration was optimized from 2 times a week to 3 times a week for 4hr and her dry weight was adjusted. Despite adequate dialysis for 1month, effusion on the left side persisted. She had a previous venoplasty for a stenosis in brachiocephalic vein but restenosis occurred again.

Results: Brachiocephalic vein stenting was performed which successfully lead to resolution of left arm swelling and left effusion. She was later on successfully transplanted.

CONCLUSIONS: Brachiocephalic stenosis can cause ipsilateral transudative effusion. Venoplasty and stenting of the brachiocephalic vein lead to complete resolution of effusion.


Annals of Vascular Surgery