Pregnancy in dialysis patients is a rare but important event that challenges our knowledge and demands re-thinking many aspects of our practice, including vascular access” Piccoli et al (2018).
Pregnancy in dialysis patients is a rare but important event that challenges our knowledge and demands re-thinking many aspects of our practice, including vascular access. This editorial briefly discusses some open questions on vascular access in this situation that challenge the motto ‘fistula first’ and underline the need for personalised approaches. Information on vascular access in pregnant women is scant. Different approaches may be considered between women on dialysis already on a well-functioning tunnelled catheter and newly placed catheters: while a tunnelled catheter in a woman already stabilised on outpatient dialysis, who has shown being able to take correct care of it and who has freely chosen this option, is a reasonable choice, central venous catheters placed during pregnancy, especially in the hospital setting, may have a high risk of complications. Conversely, pregnancy may increase the risk of development of fistula aneurysms, but the frequency of this complication is still unknown. The problem of whether or not shifting pregnant patients on peritoneal dialysis to daily haemodialysis sessions is still open, as well as the role of patients’ preference for avoidance of an invasive procedure, or refuse of pain. In the wait for answers, reflecting on the problems encountered by pregnant women on dialysis should make us reflect on how to improve vascular access management for all our patients.
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Piccoli, G.B., Cabiddu, G. and Gallieni, M. (2018) Patients’ wishes, pregnancy and vascular access: When one size does not fit all. The Journal of Vascular Access. 19(6), p.518-520.