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"Tunneled CVC only access format incurred lower cost and is suitable for carefully selected patients" Ho et al (2022).

Dialysis access of end-stage kidney disease


Background: Creation and maintenance of dialysis vascular access (VA) is a major component of healthcare resource utilization and cost for patients newly started on hemodialysis (HD). Different VA format arises due to patient acceptance of anticipatory care versus late preparation, and clinical characteristics. This study reviews the clinical journey and resource utilization required for different VA formats in the first year of HD.

Method: Data of patients newly commenced on HD between July 2015 and June 2016 were reviewed. Patients were grouped by their VA format: (A) pre-emptive surgically created VA (SCVA), (B) tunneled central venous catheter (CVC) followed by SCVA creation, (C) long-term tunneled CVC only. Clinical events, number of investigations and procedures, hospital admissions, and incurred costs of the three groups were compared.

Results: In the multivariable analysis, the cost incurred by the group A patients had no significant difference to that incurred in the group B patients (p = 0.08), while the cost of group C is significantly lower (p < 0.001). Both the 62.7% of group A with successful SCVA who avoided tunneled CVC usage, and those with a functionally matured SCVA in group B (66.1%), used fewer healthcare resources and incurred less cost for their access compared to those did not (p = 0.01, p = 0.02, respectively) during the first year of HD.

Conclusion: With comparable cost, a pre-emptive approach enables avoidance of tunneled CVC. Tunneled CVC only access format incurred lower cost and is suitable for carefully selected patients. Successful maturation of SCVA greatly affects patients’ clinical journey and healthcare cost.


Ho P, Binte Taufiq Chong Ah Hoo NNF, Cheng YX, Meng L, Chai Min Shen D, Teo BW, Ma V, Hargreaves CA. The clinical journey and healthcare resources required for dialysis access of end-stage kidney disease patients during their first year of hemodialysis. J Vasc Access. 2022 May 11:11297298221095769. doi: 10.1177/11297298221095769. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35543398.