Review of vascular access for older patients who undergo hemodialysis


Intravenous literature: Venturelli, C., Bandera, A., Zubani, R., Movilli, E., Veniero, P., Gaggiotti, M., Gregorini, G., Cancarini, G. and Brunori, G. (2013) Vascular access in older patients: An Italian survey. Journal of Nephrology. April 3rd. .


Background: The number of older patients starting 
hemodialysis is continuously increasing. The type of vascular access plays an important role in dialysis treatment, but it can be difficult to create in older patients.

Methods: This study compared vascular access survival rates and patient survival rates in older (≥65 years) and younger ( lt;65 years) patients starting hemodialysis in 2 Italian hospitals in 2006-2008.

Results: The study enrolled 336 patients: 208 ≥65 years and 128 lt;65 years of age. The vascular accesses used, in order of frequency, were 102 distal arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) (49%), 55 midarm AVFs (pAVFs) (26%), 9 arteriovenous grafts (AVGs) (4%) and 42 central venous catheters (CVCs) (20%) in the older patients, and 89 dAVFs (69%), 25 pAVFs (19%), 6 AVGs (5%) and 8 CVCs (6%) in the younger patients. Survival rates of fistula and catheter did not differ between the 2 groups. AVGs failed earlier (p = 0.02) in the older patients. On Cox analysis, age (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.073; p lt;0.001) and CVC (HR = 4.152; p lt;0.001) increased the risk of death.

Conclusion: A fistula is the gold standard for hemodialysis vascular access in older patients if judged appropriately.

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