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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Real-time, ultrasound-guided infraclavicular axillary vein cannulation for renal replacement therapy in the critical care unit—A prospective intervention study

Tomasz Czarnik, Ryszard Gawda, Jakub Nowotarski
Journal of Critical Care 2015, 30 (3): 624-8
25697988

PURPOSE: The cannulation of the axillary vein for renal replacement therapy is a rarely performed procedure in the critical care unit. We defined the venipuncture and catheterization success rates and early mechanical complication rates of this technique in critical care patients with acute kidney injury.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-nine mechanically ventilated patients with clinical indications for insertion of temporary hemodialysis catheters enrolled in a registered trial (NCT01919528) as a pilot cohort. We performed 29 real-time, ultrasound-guided infraclavicular axillary vein cannulation attempts for renal replacement therapy. We defined the venipuncture and catheterization success rates and early mechanical complication rates for this technique.

RESULTS: The puncture of the axillary vein was successful in 28 (96.5%) patients. In 22 patients (75.9%), venipuncture occurred during the first attempt and in 6 patients during the second (20.7%). The overall cannulation success rate was 93.1% (95% confidence interval, 77%-99%). We noted 6.8% potentially serious complications rate, 10.3% minor complications rate, and 0% life-threatening early mechanical complications. We achieved an 89.6% renal replacement therapy success rate and low rate of catheters malfunction.

CONCLUSIONS: Real-time, ultrasound-guided, infraclavicular axillary vein cannulation for renal replacement therapy in the critical care unit is a reliable method of dual-lumen hemodialysis catheter insertion and can be considered a reasonable alternative to jugular and femoral routes in special clinical circumstances.

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