The natural history of tunneled hemodialysis catheters removed or exchanged: a single-institution experience

Ahmad I Alomari, Abigail Falk
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology: JVIR 2007, 18 (2): 227-35

PURPOSE: To track the natural history of tunneled hemodialysis catheters requiring removal or exchange at a single institution.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Over a 2-year period, tunneled hemodialysis catheters that presented to interventional radiology for removal or exchange were entered into this retrospective study. Patient demographics, catheter location, dwell time, and indication for removal were recorded. Pull-back contrast venography was performed with imaging over the chest. Catheters were then removed or exchanged.

RESULTS: Three hundred thirty-four tunneled dialysis catheters were removed or exchanged in 207 patients; 108 male, median age 53 years. Dwell time, available from 296 catheters, ranged from 1 to 114 days (median, 66 days) for a total of 32,847 catheter days. One hundred three catheters were removed for infection, yielding a rate of infection requiring catheter removal of 3.0 per 1,000 catheter days. One hundred catheters were removed for other working access, and 96 catheters were exchanged for poor function. Two hundred sixty-five were removed or exchanged from the internal jugular vein, 22 from the subclavian vein, and 24 from the femoral vein. One hundred seventy-two (76%) of the 226 catheters studied with contrast had fibrin sheaths; of which 42 had thrombus identified along the catheter tract. One hundred ninety-three catheters were removed, and 141 catheters were exchanged for new catheters with 82 catheters receiving balloon disruption of the fibrin sheath.

CONCLUSIONS: Approximately one third of tunneled dialysis catheters are removed for infection, one third for other working access, and one third for poor function. Catheters usually remain in the patient for a median of 2 months. Fibrin sheaths associated with hemodialysis catheters are very common. Thrombus formation around the sheath is frequent.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"