Vascular Access Conversation - IVUPDATE Podcast from IVTEAM

"The aim of this meta-analysis is to compare effectiveness and safety among different tip-design long-term hemodialysis (HD) catheters" Li et al (2022).

Hemodialysis catheter tip design


Purpose: The aim of this meta-analysis is to compare effectiveness and safety among different tip-design long-term hemodialysis (HD) catheters.

Materials and methods: PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched until 8 December 2021 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies comparing step-tip, split-tip, or symmetrical-tip design catheters in patients undergoing HD will be included. The Cochrane Risk of Bias tool and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale were used to evaluate the quality of RCTs and cohort studies. Data extracted from the articles were integrated to determine mean effective blood pump velocity (Qb), blood recirculation rates, secondary patency, catheter-related infection, catheter-related blood stream infection (CRBSI), thrombosis rates, and all-cause mortality for the three tip-designs. We performed meta-analysis on dichotomous outcomes using a random-effects model to evaluate risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (Cls). The effect sizes of continuous outcomes were reported as the mean difference (MD). Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were also performed. The study was registered in the PROSPERO (CRD42021297069).

Results: Six RCTs and 11 cohort studies of 2617 individuals were included in our meta-analysis, of which 1088 individuals inserted split-tip catheters, 897 individuals inserted step-tip catheters and 650 received symmetrical-tip design catheters. Sym-tip performed better in mean Qb (MD = 43.85, 95% Cl = 18.13-69.56, p = 0.0008) than step-tip. Split-tip had better outcomes vs step-tip in blood recirculation (RR = 3.44, 95% Cl = 2.49-4.39, p < 0.00001). Sym-tip had significantly better outcomes compared with step-tip (RR = 0.28, 95%Cl = 0.09-0.81, Z = 2.34, p = 0.02) and split-tip (RR = 0.19, 95% Cl = 0.09-0.43, p < 0.0001) in thrombotic events. No significant difference was found in secondary patency, infection rates, CRBSI, and all-cause mortality among the three tip-designs.

Conclusion: The sym-tip of tunneled cuffed catheters performed better mean Qb, lower thrombotic events, and lower blood recirculation when blood line reversed, which may have an advantage over other two catheter-tips.


Li Y, Shi Z, Zhao Y, Tan Z, Guo H, Lu Z. Comparative effectiveness and safety among different tip-design hemodialysis long-term catheters: A meta-analysis. J Vasc Access. 2022 Aug 2:11297298221115003. doi: 10.1177/11297298221115003. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35918875.