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This study analyzed longitudinal transitions between TCVC-based and AVA-based HD outcomes according to the order of placement” Murea et al (2017).


BACKGROUND: Arteriovenous accesses (AVA) in patients performing hemodialysis (HD) are labeled “permanent” for AV fistulas (AVF) or grafts (AVG) and “temporary” for tunneled central venous catheters (TCVC). Durability and outcomes of permanent vascular accesses based on the sequence in which they were placed or used receives little attention. This study analyzed longitudinal transitions between TCVC-based and AVA-based HD outcomes according to the order of placement.

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METHODS: All 391 patients initiating chronic HD via a TCVC between 2012 and 2013 at 12 outpatient academic dialysis units were included in this study. Chronological distributions of HD vascular accesses were recorded over a mean (SD) of 2.8 (0.9) years and sequentially grouped into periods for TCVC-delivered and AVA-delivered (AVF or AVG) HD. Primary AVA failure and cumulative access survival were evaluated based on access placement sequence and type, adjusting for age.

RESULTS: In total, 92.3% (361/391) of patients underwent 497 AVA placement surgeries. Analyzing the initial 3 surgeries, primary AVF failure rates increased with each successive fistula placement (p = 0.008). Among the 82.9% (324/391) of TCVC patients successfully converted to an AVA, 30.9% returned to a TCVC, followed by a 58.0% conversion rate to another AVA. Annual per-patient vascular access transition rates were 2.02 (0.09) HD periods using a TCVC and 0.54 (0.03) HD periods using an AVA. Comparing the first AVA used with the second, cumulative access survivals were 701.0 (370.0) vs. 426.5 (275.0) days, respectively. Excluding those never converting to an AVF or AVG, 169 (52.2%) subsequently converted from a TCVC to a permanent access and received HD via AVA for ≥80% of treatments.

CONCLUSIONS: HD vascular access outcomes differ based on the sequence of placement. In spite of frequent AVA placements, only half of patients effectively achieved a “permanent” vascular access and used an AVA for the majority of HD treatments.


Murea, M., Brown, W.M., Divers, J., Moossavi, S., Robinson, T.W., Bagwell, B., Burkart, J.M. and Freedman, B.I. (2017) Vascular Access Placement Order and Outcomes in Hemodialysis Patients: A Longitudinal Study. American Journal of Nephrology. 46(4), p.268-275.

doi: 10.1159/000481313.

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