JOURNAL ARTICLE

Use of unconventional dialysis access in patients with no viable alternative

Gabriel Herscu, Karen Woo, Fred A Weaver, Vincent L Rowe
Annals of Vascular Surgery 2013, 27 (3): 332-6
22998789

BACKGROUND: Hemodialysis patients who have exhausted all of the conventionally used veins for vascular access, including arteriovenous fistula, arteriovenous graft, and traditional catheter access sites, present a challenge to the treating physician. Transhepatic and translumbar inferior vena cava catheters have been used in these patients who have no other access site option. The objective of the study was to examine our experience with translumbar and transhepatic approach for catheter-based hemodialysis access in patients who have exhausted all other options.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed from June 2000 to May 2011 of all patients who underwent transhepatic or translumbar inferior vena cava catheter placement for the purpose of hemodialysis. Data abstracted included previous access procedures, duration of use and patency of dialysis catheters, catheter-related complications, and mortality.

RESULTS: Seven patients were identified. Four patients underwent transhepatic access and three underwent translumbar access. Five patients were female and two were male. The mean age was 44 years. The etiology of renal failure was diabetes in four patients, congenital hypoplastic kidneys in two patients, and acute glomerulonephritis in one patient. A mean of 14 (range: 11-18) dialysis access procedures were performed before catheter placement by transhepatic/translumbar interventions. The initial device service interval for all patients ranged from 15 to 658 days, with a mean of 295 days and a median of 245 days. Total access site service interval ranged from 15 to 790 days, with a mean of 380 days and a median of 245 days.

CONCLUSION: Translumbar and transhepatic venous access is a viable long-term alternative route for catheter-based hemodialysis access in patients who have exhausted conventional options.

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