A survey of vascular access for haemodialysis in The Netherlands

H Burger, G Kootstra, F de Charro, P Leffers
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 1991, 6 (1): 5-10
After nearly 30 years of access surgery for haemodialysis, a survey of vascular access in a large population seemed relevant in order to analyse the state of the art. On 1 January 1988, 2195 patients in 52 centres in The Netherlands (population 14,714,900) were on long-term haemodialysis and 588 on continuous ambulant peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) for renal insufficiency. A questionnaire was mailed out, to which there was 100% response. Of all the patients on long-term haemodialysis, 70% had a Cimino fistula, 22% a graft fistula, and 6% a more proximal arm fistula. The remaining 2% had a Scribner shunt. Of all the graft fistulae, the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) graft was the one most used (58%), followed by the homologous vein graft (25%), the autologous vein graft (13%), and those made of other materials (4%). Preference for acute access was recorded; catheterisation of the subclavian vein was used almost exclusively in 17 centres, while in 24 centres it was chosen in more than 50% of the cases. The femoral vein was almost always the choice for acute access in 6 centres and it was selected in more than 50% of the cases in 17 centres. Another alternative, the Scribner shunt, was applied in selected cases in 22 of the 52 centres. Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), as a method for treating stenoses in vessels used for vascular access, was applied routinely in 5 centres and occasionally in 19 centres.

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