Bluegrass Vascular Welcomes First Reporting Standards for Thoracic Central Vein Obstruction

April 13, 2018

SAN ANTONIO, TX – April 13, 2018Bluegrass Vascular Technologies (Bluegrass Vascular), a private medical technology company focused on innovating lifesaving devices and methods for vascular access procedures, today welcomed the publication of the first reporting standards for thoracic central vein obstruction (TCVO) in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR). The document is also available in JVIR’s April 2018 print issue.

Central venous occlusion is a significant, largely underestimated, and costly problem. An estimated 2 million people worldwide are currently either receiving treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant, many of whom rely on central venous catheters (CVCs) to receive this lifesaving treatment.1 Despite being widely utilized, 40% of hemodialysis patients with CVCs develop a central venous obstruction, which, if left untreated, can lead to increased patient morbidity, reduced quality of life and increased provider costs.2

A lack of universal reporting standards for TCVO prevents clinicians from fully recognizing its prevalence, optimal treatment options and resulting outcomes. TCVO is a complex condition, often requiring a team of specialists to identify, manage and treat. The Central Vein Work Group (CVWG), comprised of representatives from Interventional Radiology, Vascular Surgery, Nephrology, and several other related specialties, was founded with the aim of guiding best-practices and reducing incidence of thoracic central vein occlusion. The CVWG collaborated with the Society for Interventional Radiology (SIR) to establish these standards for describing TCVO patterns and resulting clinical consequences.

“These reporting standards represent a multidisciplinary interest to promote sustainable vascular access,” stated Bart Dolmatch, M.D., Interventional Radiologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Mountain View, CA. “They organize manifestations of TCVO in a way that now gives clinicians access to a common language to ensure alignment and management across specialties, leading to better coordinated care.”

The Society of Interventional Radiology is the lead author of the reporting standards. Other societal endorsement of the TCVO reporting standards include: the American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (ASDIN), British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR), Canadian Interventional Radiology Association (CIRA), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Indian Society of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (ISVIR), Vascular Access Society of the Americas (VASA) and Vascular Access Society of Britain and Ireland (VASBI). No CVWG members received compensation or commercial support for their time and effort in the development of these standards.

“We are very pleased with the workgroup’s establishment of these reporting standards for thoracic central vein obstruction,” stated Gabriele Niederauer, Ph.D., CEO and President of Bluegrass Vascular. “Widespread endorsement of these standards is a life-changing step forward for a growing population of patients requiring vascular access for vital treatments and who currently have limited options due to obstructed upper body access.”

The Surfacer System will be discussed during two sessions at the upcoming Charing Cross (CX) International Symposium in London, United Kingdom. The first session, titled “Inside-Out Access” the Surfacer – Indications and Outcomes, is part of the Failed Central Veins portion of the Vascular Access Masterclass on Wednesday, April 25th from 11:55 a.m.– 12:05 p.m. BST. The session will be presented by James Gilbert, MD, Consultant Transplant and Vascular Access Surgeon at Oxford University. The second discussion, titled Inside-Out Access, will be during the Complex Access portion of the Vascular Access Workshop on Thursday, April 26th from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. BST. This session will be presented by Gürkan Sengölge, MD, Associate Professor, Interventional Nephrologist at the University of Vienna.

The Surfacer System will also be on display at Merit Medical’s exhibitor booth, #415.

About the Surfacer® Inside-Out® Access Catheter System

The Surfacer® Inside-Out® Access Catheter System, from Bluegrass Vascular, offers a solution to prevent central venous occlusions. Designed to reliably, efficiently and repeatedly gain central venous access via its proprietary Inside-Out approach, the Surfacer System allows for the placement and maturation of permanent arteriovenous access options that are associated with improved patient outcomes and eliminate the progression of central venous occlusions.

About Bluegrass Vascular Technologies

Bluegrass Vascular Technologies is a medical technology company dedicated to developing and commercializing lifesaving devices and methods that address shortcomings in vascular access procedures. For more information, please visit



2 Ebner A, Gallo S, Cetraro C, Gurley J, Minarsch L. Inside-Out Upper Body Venous Access: The first-in-human experiences with a novel approach using the Surfacer Inside-Out Access Catheter System. Endovascular Today. June 2013.