J Vasc Access. 2021 Mar 21:11297298211003745. doi: 10.1177/11297298211003745. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In some clinical conditions, central venous access is preferably or necessarily achieved by threading the catheter into the inferior vena cava. This can be obtained not only by puncture of the common femoral vein at the groin, but also-as suggested by few recent studies-by puncture of the superficial femoral vein at mid-thigh.
METHODS: We have retrospectively reviewed our experience with central catheters inserted by ultrasound-guided puncture and cannulation of the superficial femoral vein, focusing mainly on indications, technique of venipuncture, and incidence of immediate/early complications.
RESULTS: From June 2020 to December 2020, we have inserted 98 non-tunneled central venous catheters (tip in inferior vena cava or right atrium) by ultrasound-guided puncture of the superficial femoral vein at mid-thigh or in the lower third of the thigh, all of them secured by subcutaneous anchorage. The success of the maneuver was 100% and immediate/early complications were negligible. Follow-up of hospitalized patients (72.5% of all cases) showed only one episode of catheter dislodgment, no episode of infection and no episode of catheter related thrombosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The ultrasound approach to the superficial femoral vein is an absolutely safe technique of central venous access. In our experience, it was not associated with any risk of severe insertion-related complications, even in patients with low platelet count or coagulation disorders. Also, the exit site of the catheter at mid-thigh may have advantages if compare to the exit site in the inguinal area.