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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 235-239

Dialysis vascular access: Where do tunneled catheters stand? – A single-center experience

Department of Nephrology, Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Center and Institute of Transplant Sciences (IKDRC-ITS), Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Divyesh Engineer
Department of Nephrology, Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Center & Institute of Transplant Sciences (IKDRC-ITS), Ahmedabad, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijn.IJN_266_19

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Introduction: Tunneled cuffed catheters (TCC) provides a short and intermediate-term access solution for dialysis patients who fail to get an arteriovenous fistula (AVF). They are associated with high morbidity and mortality along with high rates of infectious complications. Methods: We present a single-center prospective cohort of 159 TCCs inserted over one year. Patients were dialyzed in-hospital and in various peripheral dialysis units attached to the institute. The primary endpoint was catheter drop-out. Results: The mean age of patients was 41.8 ± 16.9 years. The right internal jugular vein was the commonest site of TCC insertion (66%). The absence of suitable veins was the predominant reason for TCC insertion. The mean time to catheter drop-out was 134.4 ± 83.3 days (5–399 days). Death with a working catheter was the most common cause of catheter drop-out (22.6%). About 25% of catheters were lost to catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI), either alone or as overlap with poor flow. CRBSI rates were 3.74 episodes per 1000 catheter-days. No difference in survival between the staggered tip and split-tip catheters was found. Conclusions: With the advent of the “hub and spoke” model for dialysis in the public sector healthcare, TCCs are suboptimal with regards to patient and catheter survival, with high infection rates. It must be regarded as a temporary solution and AVF creation should be prioritized.


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Indian Journal of Nephrology
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Online since 20th Sept '07