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      Increasing AV Fistulae and Decreasing Dialysis Catheters: Two Aspects of Improving Patient Outcomes

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          Maximizing arteriovenous (AV) fistula prevalence and minimizing catheter use have become the dominant issues in hemodialysis vascular access management and offer the promise of improved patient outcomes with decreased overall expenditures. Recent efforts have increased AV fistula prevalence in the US to 42.9% with regional rates as high as 59.5% and with complementary declines in AV grafts. This should decrease access procedures but may not fully realize the potential reductions in mortality and cost possible if combined with catheter reduction. Successful catheter reduction requires similar approaches to those utilized in the Fistula First Program. Educating patients, the use of clearly defined protocols and updating payment systems to include chronic kidney disease care are crucial to continued progress. Expansion of the Fistula First Program to include a focus on decreasing catheter prevalence and complications should be considered as a requirement in the push toward the breakthrough targets of 66% AV fistula prevalence.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Type of vascular access and mortality in U.S. hemodialysis patients.

          Vascular access (VA) complications account for 16 to 25% of hospital admissions. This study tested the hypothesis that the type of VA in use is correlated with overall mortality and cause-specific mortality. Data were analyzed from the U.S. Renal Data System Dialysis Morbidity and Mortality Study Wave 1, a random sample of 5507 patients, prevalent on hemodialysis as of December 31, 1993. The relative mortality risk during a two-year observation was analyzed by Cox-regression methods with adjustments for demographic and comorbid conditions. Using similar methods, cause-specific analyses also were performed for death caused by infection and cardiac causes. In diabetic mellitus (DM) patients with end-stage renal disease, the associated relative mortality risk was higher for those with arteriovenous graft (AVG; RR = 1.41, P < 0.003) and central venous catheter (CVC; RR = 1.54, P < 0.002) as compared with arteriovenous fistula (AVF). In non-DM patients, those with CVC had a higher associated mortality (RR = 1.70, P < 0.001), as did to a lesser degree those with AVG (RR = 1.08, P = 0.35) when compared with AVF. Cause-specific analyses found higher infection-related deaths for CVC (RR = 2.30, P < 0.06) and AVG (RR = 2.47, P < 0.02) compared with AVF in DM; in non-DM, risk was higher also for CVC (RR = 1.83, P < 0.04) and AVG (RR = 1.27, P < 0.33). In contrast to our hypothesis that AV shunting increases cardiac risk, deaths caused by cardiac causes were higher in CVC than AVF for both DM (RR = 1.47, P < 0.05) and non-DM (RR = 1.34, P < 0.05) patients. This case-mix adjusted analysis suggests that CVC and AVG are correlated with increased mortality risk when compared with AVF, both overall and by major causes of death.
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            Vascular access use in Europe and the United States: results from the DOPPS.

            A direct broad-based comparison of vascular access use and survival in Europe (EUR) and the United States (US) has not been performed previously. Case series reports suggest that vascular access practices differ substantially in the US and EUR. We report on a representative study (DOPPS) which has used the same data collection protocol for> 6400 hemodialysis (HD) patients to compare vascular access use at 145 US dialysis units and 101 units in five EUR countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom). Logistic analysis evaluated factors associated with native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) versus graft use or permanent access versus catheter use for prevalent and incident HD patients. Times to failure for AVF and graft were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression. AVF was used by 80% of EUR and 24% of US prevalent patients, and was significantly associated with younger age, male gender, lower body mass index, non-diabetic status, lack of peripheral vascular disease, and no angina. After adjusting for these factors, AVF versus graft use was still much higher in EUR than US (AOR=21, P 30 days prior to ESRD compared with 74% in the US (P < 0.0001); pre-ESRD care was associated with increased odds of AVF versus graft use (AOR=1.9, P=0.01). New HD patients had a 1.8-fold greater odds (P=0.002) of starting HD with a permanent access if a facility's typical time from referral to access placement was < or =2 weeks. AVF use when compared to grafts was substantially lower (AOR=0.61, P=0.04) when surgery trainees assisted or performed access placements. When used as a patient's first access, AVF survival was superior to grafts regarding time to first failure (RR=0.53, P=0.0002), and AVF survival was longer in EUR compared with the US (RR=0.49, P=0.0005). AVF and grafts each displayed better survival if used when initiating HD compared with being used after patients began dialysis with a catheter. Large differences in vascular access use exist between EUR and the US, even after adjustment for patient characteristics. The results strongly suggest that a facility's preferences and approaches to vascular access practice are major determinants of vascular access use.
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              Vascular access and increased risk of death among hemodialysis patients.

              Hemodialysis with a venous catheter increases the risk of infection. The extent to which venous catheters are associated with an increased risk of death among hemodialysis patients has not been extensively studied. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 7497 prevalent hemodialysis patients to assess the association between dialysis with a venous catheter and risk of death due to all causes and to infection. A tunneled cuffed catheter was used for access in 12% of the patients and non-cuffed, not tunneled catheter in 2%. Younger age (P = 0.0005), black race (P = 0.0022), female gender (P = 0.0004), short duration since starting dialysis (P = 0.0003) and impaired functional status (P = 0.0001) were independently associated with increased use of catheter access. The proportion of patients who died was higher among those who were dialyzed with a non-cuffed (16.8%) or cuffed (15.2%) catheter compared to those dialyzed with either a graft (9.1%) or a fistula (7.3%; P < 0.001). The proportion of deaths due to infection was higher among patients dialyzed with a catheter (3.4%) compared to those dialyzed with either a graft (1.2%) or a fistula (0.8%; P < 0.001). The adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for all-cause and infection-related death among patients dialyzed with a catheter was 1.4 (1.1, 1.9) and 3.0 (1.4, 6.6), respectively, compared to those with an arteriovenous (AV) fistula. Venous catheters are associated with an increased risk of all-cause and infection-related mortality among hemodialysis patients.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                December 2006
                14 December 2006
                : 25
                : 1
                : 99-102
                Fresenius Medical Care, Celebration, Fla., USA
                96404 Blood Purif 2007;25:99–102
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                References: 22, Pages: 4
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