Planned creation of vascular access saves medical expenses for incident dialysis patients

Ling-Chu Wu, Ming-Yen Lin, Chong-Chao Hsieh, Herng-Chia Chiu, Lih-Wen Mau, Yi-Wen Chiu, Hung-Chun Chen, Shang-Jyh Hwang
Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences 2009, 25 (10): 521-9
Hospitalization to initiate hemodialysis (HD) through temporary catheterization and subsequent creation of permanent vascular access (VA) is costly. Therefore, we studied the influence of the timing of VA creation on medical expenses, length of stay (LOS) and 1-year primary patency rate in incident HD patients. We analyzed the medical expenses associated with hospitalization and LOS at VA creation in 486 incident HD patients at two hospitals in southern Taiwan. Patients with early VA creation, more than 1 month before HD initiation, were defined as the Planned group (n = 70); less than 1 month as the Delayed group (n = 48); and those with VA creation after the initiation of HD as the Urgent group (n = 368). The Urgent group had the highest inpatient medical expenses and LOS compared with the other two groups. Multiple regression analyses of inpatient medical expenses and LOS showed that the timing of VA creation, the type of VA, marital and employment status and the number of comorbidities were significant factors responsible for the differences between groups. Furthermore, higher inpatient medical expenses and longer LOS in the Urgent group were noted in the arteriovenous fistula and arteriovenous graft subgroups. Kaplan-Meier Survival analysis showed that the 1-year primary patency rate was highest in the Delayed group and lowest in the Planned group, while Cox regression analysis demonstrated that the type of VA, but not the timing of VA creation, was a significant risk factor for VA patency. Arteriovenous graft had a higher risk for occlusion than arteriovenous fistula. In conclusion, planned VA creation before the initiation of HD is associated with lower inpatient medical expenses and shorter LOS, which should be promoted for pre-end-stage renal disease care, but the care for VA should be further emphasized before the progression to end-stage renal disease, and the patency of the VA should be cautiously monitored.

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