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Azygos tip placement for hemodialysis catheters in patients with superior vena cava occlusion.

Chronic central venous access is necessary for numerous life-saving therapies. Repeated access is complicated by thrombosis and occlusion of the major veins, such as the superior vena cava (SVC), which then require novel vascular approaches if therapy is to be continued. We present two cases of catheterization of the azygos system in the presence of an SVC obstruction. We conclude that the azygos vein may be used for long-term vascular access when other conduits are unavailable and that imaging studies such as magnetic resonance venography, contrast-enhanced computed tomography or conventional venography can be employed prior to the procedure to aid with planning and prevent unforeseen complications.

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