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      Vascular Access Vulnerability in Intensive Hemodialysis: A Significant Achilles' Heel?

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          Background: Frequent hemodialysis (HD) may be associated with an increased risk of vascular access complications. Studies addressing vascular access outcomes in frequent HD show conflicting results. Methods: We searched Medline for trials looking at vascular access outcomes in frequent HD. Results: Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria; only studies with a control group were included for analysis (n = 15). The vascular access event rate was higher in intensive HD as compared to conventional HD (difference of 6.7 events per 100 patient-years, p = 0.009). Overall event rates were not significantly different between conventional and intensive HD when stratified for access type, but were notably higher in the arteriovenous grafts and catheter group as compared to the arteriovenous fistula (AVF) group. Conclusion: Intensive HD is associated with an increased risk of vascular access complications. Overall reported event rates were lower in the AVF group. Further controlled studies should investigate whether a ‘fistula first' strategy may be recommended also for intensive HD.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Effect of frequent nocturnal hemodialysis vs conventional hemodialysis on left ventricular mass and quality of life: a randomized controlled trial.

          Morbidity and mortality rates in hemodialysis patients remain excessive. Alterations in the delivery of dialysis may lead to improved patient outcomes. To compare the effects of frequent nocturnal hemodialysis vs conventional hemodialysis on change in left ventricular mass and health-related quality of life over 6 months. A 2-group, parallel, randomized controlled trial conducted at 2 Canadian university centers between August 2004 and December 2006. A total of 52 patients undergoing hemodialysis were recruited. Participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive nocturnal hemodialysis 6 times weekly or conventional hemodialysis 3 times weekly. The primary outcome was change in left ventricular mass, as measured by cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. The secondary outcomes were patient-reported quality of life, blood pressure, mineral metabolism, and use of medications. Frequent nocturnal hemodialysis significantly improved the primary outcome (mean left ventricular mass difference between groups, 15.3 g, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 29.6 g; P = .04). Frequent nocturnal hemodialysis did not significantly improve quality of life (difference of change in EuroQol 5-D index from baseline, 0.05; 95% CI, -0.07 to 0.17; P = .43). However, frequent nocturnal hemodialysis was associated with clinically and statistically significant improvements in selected kidney-specific domains of quality of life (P = .01 for effects of kidney disease and P = .02 for burden of kidney disease). Frequent nocturnal hemodialysis was also associated with improvements in systolic blood pressure (P = .01 after adjustment) and mineral metabolism, including a reduction in or discontinuation of antihypertensive medications (16/26 patients in the nocturnal hemodialysis group vs 3/25 patients in the conventional hemodialysis group; P < .001) and oral phosphate binders (19/26 patients in the nocturnal hemodialysis group vs 3/25 patients in the conventional dialysis group; P < .001). No benefit in anemia management was seen with nocturnal hemodialysis. This preliminary study revealed that, compared with conventional hemodialysis (3 times weekly), frequent nocturnal hemodialysis improved left ventricular mass, reduced the need for blood pressure medications, improved some measures of mineral metabolism, and improved selected measures of quality of life. Identifier: ISRCTN25858715.
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            Increasing arteriovenous fistulas in hemodialysis patients: problems and solutions.

            National guidelines promote increasing the prevalence of fistula use among hemodialysis patients. The prevalence of fistulas among hemodialysis patients reflects both national, regional, and local practice differences as well as patient-specific demographic and clinical factors. Increasing fistula prevalence requires increasing fistula placement, improving maturation of new fistulas, and enhancing long-term patency of mature fistulas for dialysis. Whether a patient receives a fistula depends on several factors: timing of referral for dialysis and vascular access, type of fistula placed, patient demographics, preference of the nephrologist, surgeon, and dialysis nurses, and vascular anatomy of the patient. Whether the placed fistula is useable for dialysis depends on additional factors, including adequacy of vessels, surgeon's experience, patient demographics, nursing skills, minimal acceptable dialysis blood flow, and attempts to revise immature fistulas. Whether a mature fistula achieves long-term patency depends on the ability to prevent and correct thrombosis. An optimal outcome is likely when there is (1) a multidisciplinary team approach to vascular access; (2) consensus about the goals among all interested parties (nephrologists, surgeons, radiologists, dialysis nurses, and patients); (3) early referral for placement of vascular access; (4) restriction of vascular access procedures to surgeons with demonstrable interest and experience; (5) routine, preoperative mapping of the patient's arteries and veins; (6) close, ongoing communication among the involved parties; and (7) prospective tracking of outcomes with continuous quality assessment. Implementing these measures is likely to increase the prevalence of fistulas in any given dialysis unit. However, differences among dialysis units are likely to persist because of differences in gender, race, and co-morbidity mix of the patient population.
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              Hemodialysis vascular access dysfunction: a cellular and molecular viewpoint.

              Hemodialysis vascular access dysfunction is a major cause of morbidity and hospitalization in the hemodialysis population. The major cause of hemodialysis vascular access dysfunction is venous stenosis as a result of neointimal hyperplasia. Despite the magnitude of the clinical problem, however, there has been a paucity of novel therapeutic interventions in this field. This is in marked contrast to a recent plethora of targeted interventions for the treatment of arterial neointimal hyperplasia after coronary angioplasty. The reasons for this are two-fold. First there has been a relative lack of cellular and molecular research that focuses on venous neointimal hyperplasia in the specific setting of hemodialysis vascular access. Second, there have been inadequate efforts by the nephrology community to translate the recent advances in molecular and interventional cardiology into therapies for hemodialysis vascular access. This review therefore (1) briefly examines the different forms of hemodialysis vascular access that are available, (2) describes the pathology and pathogenesis of hemodialysis vascular access dysfunction in both polytetrafluoroethylene grafts and native arteriovenous fistulae, (3) reviews recent concepts about the pathogenesis of vascular stenosis that could potentially be applied in the setting of hemodialysis vascular access dysfunction, (4) summarizes novel experimental and clinical therapies that could potentially be used in the setting of hemodialysis vascular access dysfunction, and, finally, (5) offers some broad guidelines for future innovative translational and clinical research in this area that hopefully will reduce the huge clinical morbidity and economic costs that are associated with this condition.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                July 2014
                05 June 2014
                : 37
                : 3
                : 222-228
                aDivision of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, and bDepartment of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands; cRenal Research Institute, New York, N.Y., dFresenius Medical Care North America, Waltham, Mass., and eUniversity of California - Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif., USA
                Author notes
                *Tom Cornelis, MD, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, P. Debyelaan 25, NL-6229 HX Maastricht (The Netherlands), E-Mail
                362106 Blood Purif 2014;37:222-228
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Pages: 7
                In-Depth Review

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Hemodialysis, Vascular access, Complications


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