RENAL FAILURE, vol.25, no.3, pp.431-438, 2003 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Background. Adequate care of a hemodialysis patient requires constant attention to the need to maintain vascular access (VA) patency. VA complications are the main cause of hospitalization in hemodialysis patients. The native arteriovenous fistula (NAVF), synthetic arteriovenous grafts fistula (GAVF) and silastic cuffed central venous catheters (CVCs) are used for permanent vascular access (PVA). CVCs are primary the method of choice for temporary access. But using this access modality is increasing more and more for PVA in elderly hemodialysis patients and when other PVA is not possible. The primary aim of this study is to investigate survivals and complications of the CVCs used for long-term VA. Methods. We prospectively looked at 92 CVCs (Medcomp Ash Split Cath, 14 FR x 28 em (Little, M.A.; O'Riordan, A.; Lucey, B.; Farrell, M.; Lee, M.; Conlon, P.J.; Walshe, J.J. A prospective study of complications associated with cuffed, tunnelled hemodialysis catheters. Nephrol. Dial. Transplant. 2001, 16 (11), 2194-2200) with Dacron cuff) inserted in 85 (50 females, 35 males) chronic hemodialysis patients (the mean age: 56.6 +/- 14.1 years) from July 1999 to January 2002. The overall survival and complications were followed up. Furthermore, the patients were evaluated for demographic and clinical characteristics. Data were analysed by chi-square, Wilcoxon rank and Kaplan-Meier survival tests. Results. The median duration of CVC survival was 289 days (range: 10-720). Eleven (11.9%) CVCs were removed due to complications. In 79 (92.9%) patients, 1, in 5 (5.8%) patients, 2 and in 1 patient, 3 CVCs were inserted. Of the 85 patients, 56 have CVCs functioning. In addition, 27 (31.76%) patients have CVCs functioning for over 12 months, 17 (20%) patients have CVCs functioning for 6 months. The total incidence of CVC related infections was 0.82 episodes/1000 catheter days. Besides, thrombosis was occurred in 10 (10.8%) CVCs. The most frequent indications for CVC removal were patient death (69.4%), thrombosis (16.6%) and CVC-related infections (13.8%). Conclusions. CVCs are primarily used for temporary access. But this study indicates that CVC may be a very useful alternative permanent vascular access for hemodialysis patients when other forms of vascular access are not available.