Options for dialysis access following bilateral central vein stenosis

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“Patients with bilateral central vein stenosis present a unique challenge: treatment options are limited, largely unproven and associated with reputedly poor outcomes. Our aim was to compare patency rates of different access and renal replacement treatment (RRT) modalities in patients with bilateral central vein stenosis/occlusion.” Aitken et al (2014).

Reference:

Aitken, E., Jackson, A.J., Kasthuri, R. and Kingsmore, D.B. (2014) Bilateral central vein stenosis: options for dialysis access and renal replacement therapy when all upper extremity access possibilities have been lost. The Journal of Vascular Access. July 10th. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

PURPOSE: Patients with bilateral central vein stenosis present a unique challenge: treatment options are limited, largely unproven and associated with reputedly poor outcomes. Our aim was to compare patency rates of different access and renal replacement treatment (RRT) modalities in patients with bilateral central vein stenosis/occlusion.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data on all patients presenting to a tertiary referral vascular access centre with end-stage vascular access (defined by bilateral central vein stenosis/occlusion with loss of upper limb access) over a 5-year period were included. 3, 6 and 12-month patencies of translumbar catheters (TLs), tunnelled femoral catheters (Fem), native long saphenous vein loops (SV), prosthetic mid-thigh loop grafts (ThGr), peritoneal dialysis (PD), and expedited donation after cardiac death (DCD) cadaveric renal transplants (Tx) via local allocation policies were compared using log-rank test. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to estimate long-term access survival.

RESULTS: One hundred forty-six vascular access modalities were attempted in 62 patients (62 Fem, 25 TL, 15 SV, 25 ThGr, 8 PD, 11 Tx). Median follow-up was 876±57 days. Three, 6 and 12-month primary-assisted patencies for each modality were as follows: Fem: 75.4%, 60% and 28%; TL: 88%, 65% and 50%; SV: 87.5%, 60% and 44.6%; ThGr: 64%, 38% and 23.5%; PD: 62.5%, 62.5% and 50%; Tx: 72.7%, 72.7% and 72.7%. SV had better secondary patency at 900 days (76.9%) than ThGr (49.2%) or Fem (35.8%) (p<0.01). No patients died as a result of loss of access.

CONCLUSION: Patients with bilateral central vein stenosis often require more than one vascular access modality to achieve a “personal access solution.” Native long saphenous vein loops provided the best long-term patency. Expedited renal transplantation with priority local allocation of DCD organs to patients with precarious vascular access provides a potential solution to this difficult problem.

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