Hemodialysis vascular access options in pediatrics: considerations for patients and practitioners

Deepa H Chand, Rudolph P Valentini, Elaine S Kamil
Pediatric Nephrology 2009, 24 (6): 1121-8
Recent data indicate that the incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in pediatric patients (age 0-19 years) has increased over the past two decades. Similarly, the prevalence of ESRD has increased threefold over the same period. Hemodialysis (HD) continues to be the most frequently utilized modality for renal replacement therapy in incident pediatric ESRD patients. The number of children on HD exceeded the sum total of those on peritoneal dialysis and those undergoing pre-emptive renal transplantation. Choosing the best vascular access option for pediatric HD patients remains challenging. Despite a national initiative for fistula first in the adult hemodialysis population, the pediatric nephrology community in the United States of America utilizes central venous catheters as the primary dialysis access for most patients. Vascular access management requires proper advance planning to assure that the best permanent access is placed, seamless communication involving a multidisciplinary team of nephrologists, nurses, surgeons, and interventional radiologists, and ongoing monitoring to ensure a long life of use. It is imperative that practitioners have a long-term vision to decrease morbidity in this unique patient population. This article reviews the various types of pediatric vascular accesses used worldwide and the benefits and disadvantages of these various forms of access.

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