Surgical management of peritoneal dialysis catheters in children: five-year experience with 1,800 patient-month follow-up

M M Stone, E W Fonkalsrud, I B Salusky, H Takiff, T Hall, R N Fine
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 1986, 21 (12): 1177-81
Currently at our institution more than 90% of the children with end-stage renal disease are managed with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) in preference to hemodialysis until a successful transplant is accomplished. Recent refinements in CAPD catheters and dialysis techniques have greatly added to the many medical, psychological, and economic advantages of CAPD compared with chronic hemodialysis. Ninety-three patients less than 21 years of age underwent insertion of 167 peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheters over a 5-year period. A variety of PD catheters were used, including 121 (73%) double-cuff Tenckhoff catheters, 22 (13%) single-cuff, and 24 (14%) column disc catheters (Lifecaths, Physio-Control Corp, Redmond, WA). There were three (3%) noncatheter-related mortalities and minimal significant morbidity during the 1,819 patient-months of catheter use. Exit site infections (61%) and peritonitis (59%) were frequent but minor complications, occasionally requiring catheter replacement. Other noninfectious complications included abdominal hernias (42%), dialysis leaks (14%), distal cuff extrusion (11%), catheter obstruction (7%), and hydrothorax (2%). Forty-five of the 60 hernias (75%) were surgically repaired in patients while receiving CAPD. Persistent or recurrent peritonitis was common with Pseudomonas, Serratia, and fungal infections and often resulted in catheter removal and loss of the peritoneal dialysis membrane. Catheter survival for the double-cuff Tenckhoff was significantly better (P .005) than the single-cuff or Lifecath. Based on this experience we have found that using specific operative techniques for CAPD catheter placement and early surgical management for severe peritonitis reduces the incidence of complications and modality failure.

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