Central venous catheters for haemodialysis: A review
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, United Kingdom
J A Akoh Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH United Kingdom
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Indications for using central venous catheters (CVC) for haemodialysis include patients with: exhausted vascular access sites, no suitable vessels, failed peritoneal dialysis or short life expectancy. Catheter design and technology have changed in recent years to address the perennial problems of poor flow and infection. Permanent CVC offer a real alternative to arteriovenous access as 11-22% of long-term haemodialysis patients use CVC as their permanent vascular access. Recent advances in catheter use including measures to avoid insertion complications are highlighted. CVC provide mean flow rates of 274-525 ml/min with a one year cumulative catheter survival of 47-93%. Tunnelled CVC provide a safe and effective long-term access for haemodialysis and are particularly suitable for use in developing countries. They are cheaper to maintain and remove the temptation to re-use disposable dialysis needles.