Ideal tip location for dialysis catheters
Aim: To examine the relationship between catheter tip location and catheter dysfunction in the context of tunnelled central venous catheters (CVCs) for haemodialysis.
Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study of 993 haemodialysis patients who underwent insertion of tunnelled CVCs of step-tip design via the right internal jugular vein (IJV). Based on intra-procedural radiographs, the catheter tip was characterised as being in the superior vena cava (SVC), cavo-atrial junction (CAJ), or deep right atrium (DRA). Patients were tracked for 90 days post-procedure for complications resulting in catheter replacement, and these were compared between cohorts. Statistical analysis was performed with Pearson’s chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests for categorical variables and two-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for continuous variables.
Results: Ninety-five patients (9.6%) experienced catheter dysfunction necessitating replacement within 90 days of insertion. Tip location in SVC was associated with lower occurrence of catheter dysfunction (1.9%) as compared with the CAJ (8%) and DRA (11%; p=0.049). Catheter replacement due to other complications (catheter-associated bacteraemia, cuff dislodgement, exit-site infection, external catheter damage) showed no statistically significant relation to location of the CVC tip.
Conclusion: When utilising tunnelled CVCs with a step-tip design inserted via the right IJV, location of the catheter tip in the SVC is associated with reduced occurrence of catheter dysfunction as compared to either the CAJ or DRA.
Soh NYT, Tan BS, Chan SJM, Patel A, Gogna A, Zhuang KD, Tashi S, Venkatanarasimha N, Tay KH, Chandramohan S. Deeper may not be better: relationship between catheter dysfunction and location of the catheter tip in right-sided tunnelled haemodialysis catheters. Clin Radiol. 2022 Jun 15:S0009-9260(22)00229-X. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2022.04.020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35717409.