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Severe hemorrhage because of delayed iliac vein rupture after dialysis catheter placement: Is it preventable?


Correspondence to: A. E. Sirvent, PhD, Nephrology Section, Hospital General Universitario De Elche, Camí De L'almazara 11, E-03203. Elche (Alicante), Spain. E-mail:


Mechanical complications of femoral catheterization for hemodialysis include pseudoaneurysm, arteriovenous fistulae, neurological injury, and vessel perforation. With regard to the latter, severe hemorrhage is a rare but devastating and potentially fatal complication. We report the case of a 76-year-old female who underwent femoral catheterization for hemodialysis using ultrasound guidance. The first hemodialysis session was conducted without incident. Unfortunately, inadvertent injury and delayed perforation of the iliac vein resulted in severe hemorrhage and retroperitoneal hematoma. Surgical repair was performed. The patient was asymptomatic after the procedure and was discharged 15 days later. Based on this case and a review of the literature, we present mechanisms and ways to prevent this complication.