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The aim of the study was to describe and compare evolution of vascular access in Italy over time” Bonucchi et al (2016).


PURPOSE: Dialysis settings have generally improved over the last decades, but the vascular access setting did not see significant advances and experienced a progressive worsening in epidemiology and clinical features. The aim of the study was to describe and compare evolution of vascular access in Italy over time.

METHODS: A national survey implemented in Italy last year is presented and compared to a previous survey performed in 1998. Present survey collected data from almost 50% of centers involved in vascular access.

RESULTS: The nephrologist participates in the management of vascular access in 97% of centers. Almost 40% of centers declare more than 40% of central venous catheters (CVCs) at first dialysis with maximum value being 60%. Prevalence of CVCs is greater than 20% in chronic prevalent patients in 38.8% of centers. According to the 2013 survey, CVCs account for 51.6% of procedures, while arteriovenous fistulae (AVF) and prostheses represent 42.4% and 6%, respectively. Nephrologists perform 73% of procedures on CVCs.From 1998 to 2013, a sharp increase in CVC prevalence was seen, in both incident and prevalent dialysis patients. This activity, mostly due to CVC management, is almost completely carried by nephrologists.

DISCUSSION: The variability in CVC utilization among centers suggests the lack of a shared policy in patients and access coupling. Quantitative criteria should be used to reduce inappropriate strategy in vascular access creation. Since this activity in Italy is organized at a local level without a shared organizational model, we should inquire whether a system managed so well in the past should now be rebuilt on the model of organ transplantation.


Bonucchi, D., Palmieri, L., Arletti, S., Cappelli, G., Lomonte, C., Lodi, M., Meola, M., Spina, M. and Napoli, M. (2016) Vascular access scenario in Italy: evolution and comparison by two surveys (1998-2013). The Journal of Vascular Access. June 29th. .

doi: 10.5301/jva.5000575.

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