Haemodialysis access by inferior vena cava catheterisation.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Hemodialysis (Health aspects)
Hemodialysis (Technology application)
Catheters (Usage)
Chronic kidney failure (Care and treatment)
Chronic kidney failure (Research)
Authors: Assounga, A.G.H.
Conrads, M.A.
Han, T.M.
Ramdial, S.V.
Pub Date: 11/01/2008
Publication: Name: South African Medical Journal Publisher: South African Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 South African Medical Association ISSN: 0256-9574
Issue: Date: Nov, 2008 Source Volume: 98 Source Issue: 11
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research Computer Subject: Technology application
Product: SIC Code: 3841 Surgical and medical instruments
Geographic: Geographic Scope: South Africa Geographic Code: 6SOUT South Africa
Accession Number: 204550835
Full Text: To the Editor: Progress in haemodialysis (HD) has made it increasingly accessible to patients, who often are able to perform their own dialysis at home. (1) We report our experience with 7 patients who were dialysed via inferior vena cava (IVC) catheters inserted after failure to obtain a functioning arteriovenous (AV) fistula or a femoral, subclavian or jugular catheterisation. IVC catheterisation is useful to gain vascular access for haemodialysis when conventional routes are impossible, and helped to prolong the life of 7 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, with minimal side-effects.

Background

Dialysis membranes are becoming more biocompatible, and dialysis machines safer and easier to operate, (2) while also contributing to improved care of patients with non-renal disease, including end-stage liver disease and cardiac surgery bridging. (3) But vascular access can limit haemodialysis, especially in patients with poor veins, and may cause death in patients with ESRD. AV fistulas may thrombose and lose their patency. Subclavian, jugular or femoral catheters may be used but are often associated with thrombosis or stenosis.

Patients with ESRD can be kept alive for decades by dialysis or kidney transplantation. However, the use of catheters exposes patients to complications such as venous thrombosis, which affects blood flow and the adequacy of dialysis. Haemodialysis via IVC catheters has not been widely practised. (4-6) Vascular access remains a cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with ESRD, (7) and expertise in its use may be lacking. IVC access for haemodialysis may not need to be continued indefinitely as other means of access may become available through collaterals developing or resolution of occlusion. Other venous accesses such as the common femoral vein are prone to infection. (6)

Methods

Using the Seldinger technique, a double-lumen IVC catheter set was inserted. (8) The IVC was punctured via a translumbar approach with an 18-gauge Cheeba needle (Fig. 1); a 14 French dual-lumen tunnel dialysis catheter primed with heparin was introduced co-axially over the guide wire. Haemodialysis was performed 24 hours later and continued regularly 3 times a week. All patients who underwent the procedure were included in this retrospective study. The indication for this method was occlusion of all conventional haemodialysis vascular accesses. Outcomes and complications related to IVC catheters were recorded.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Results

Of 78 patients haemodialysed at Addington Hospital's haemodialysis unit from 2002 to 2007, 7 patients had a total of 9 IVC catheters following failure to obtain a functioning AV fistula or a femoral, subclavian or jugular catheterisation. The patients were 4 males and 3 females, ages 20-41 years, with a mean of 33 years (Table I). Two patients had torn catheters replaced. Infection of the catheters occurred in 4 patients. Staphylococcus aureus was cultured in 2 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa from another. Three patients died; 1 after 16 months from a cerebral bleed probably related to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), 1 from catheter-related sepsis after 14 months, and 1 from further catheter occlusion after 9 months. All 3 patients were continuously dialysed through IVC catheters during the period reported (9, 14 and 16 months). The average lifespan of IVC catheters was 11.1[+ or -]1.5 months (range 2-19 months). Selected cases highlight the course of patients following catheter insertion.

Patient 1

A 41-year-old woman with ESRD secondary to ADPKD was treated by dialysis for 10 years, including continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) for 1 year, followed by haemodialysis. Two attempts to fashion an AV fistula were unsuccessful, and she was haemodialysed via subclavian and femoral catheters respectively. Due to occlusion of the subclavian, jugular and femoral veins, she was haemodialysed via an IVC catheter. After 2 months, the catheter cracked at the external tip and was successfully replaced by another that performed very well for 14 months, until she died suddenly following a massive cerebral bleed.

Patient 2

A 28-year-old man with ESRD of unknown origin had been treated by chronic dialysis for 3 years. He was treated by CAPD for 6 months that was stopped due to recurrent peritonitis and a frozen abdomen. An attempt to fashion an arteriovenous fistula failed. Renal transplant surgery was abandoned because of extensive fibrosis which rendered any dissection hazardous. Subsequent haemodialysis was via catheters placed consecutively in subclavian, jugular and femoral veins. Owing to their occlusion, haemodialysis was continued via an IVC permanent catheter that functioned very well for 8 months, when it tore at the exit site. It was successfully replaced and is functioning well with a venous Doppler revealing good venous flow. A subsequent radio-radial AV fistula is functioning well for haemodialysis.

Patient 3

A 40-year-old man with ESRD of unknown aetiology was treated by haemodialysis for 6 years after failure of CAPD. Well-controlled hypertension and diabetes mellitus had been diagnosed 5 years earlier. On ultrasound, the left kidney was not clearly visualised while the right kidney measured 7.2 cm and was echogenic. An AV fistula worked for 6 months but then stopped because of thrombosis, and femoral catheterisation was unsuccessful owing to occlusion. A poorly effective peritoneal dialysis was commenced because of vascular access and pending IVC catheterisation. A permanent IVC catheter was inserted and haemodialysis commenced. A S. aureus infection of the IVC catheter was successfully treated with vancomycin (Table I).

Discussion

IVC catheterisation helped to prolong the lives of our 7 ESRD patients. As in previous studies, IVC catheterisation was offered when all other HD accesses failed.9,10 The technique requires expertise to be developed to improve success and reduce the risk of injury,11 as well as an experienced radiologist and a vascular suite. If these are not available, a surgical approach can be used. (4)

The state of patients' veins should be regularly reviewed to assess the development of adequate collaterals that may allow use of peripheral vein accesses. Recanalisation of an occluded vein should be considered if no other conventional vascular access is possible. (12-14)

An IVC catheter can be replaced safely. (15) IVC catheter-related thrombosis may be treated using a wallstent or thrombolitic agents. (12,16,17) Despite its usefulness for haemodialysis, IVC thromboses may also occur and other options may need to be considered.18 Our patient 2 underwent a successful AV fistula after >8 months of IVC catheter use. IVC catheters are used for indications other than haemodialysis, such as in peripheral stem cell apheresis and transplantation. (19) Complications of IVC catheters and other long-term haemodialysis catheters include infection and thrombosis. (20,21) In our series, infection occurred in 4 and thrombosis in 1 out of 7 patients. No significant difference has been found between brands of IVC catheter and the prevalence of stenosis and thrombosis. (18)

Accepted 30 June 2008.

References

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(2.) Daugirdas JT, Blake PG, Ing TS, eds. Handbook of Dialysis. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2006.

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(7.) Hakim R, Himmelfarb J. Hemodialysis access failure: a call to action. Kidney Int 1998; 54: 1029-1040.

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(9.) Kinney TB. Translumbar high inferior vena cava access placement in patients with thrombosed inferior vena cava filters. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2003; 14: 1563-1568.

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(11.) Uramoto H, Yano K, Hachida M, Mori A, Yasumoto K. Inferior vena cava injury after catheterization: report of a case. Hepatogastroenterology 2001; 48: 432-433.

(12.) Chang TC, Zalexki GX, Lin BH, Funaki B, Leef J. Treatment of inferior vena cava obstruction in haemodialysis patients using Wallstents: early and intermediate results. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1998; 171: 125-128.

(13.) Haage P, Krings T, Schmitz-Rode T. Non-traumatic vascular emergencies: imaging and intervention in acute venous occlusion. Eur Radiol 2002; 12: 2627-2643.

(14.) Petersen BD, Uchida BT. Long-term results of treatment of benign central venous obstructions unrelated to dialysis with expandable Z stents. J Vasc Interv Radiol 1999; 10: 757-766.

(15.) Shenoy SS, Ray CE Jr. Replacement of tunneled central venous dialysis catheter in the inferior vena cava. J Vasc Interv Radiol 1999; 10: 832-833.

(16.) Covarsi A, Marigliano N, Novillo R, Sanchez O. Thrombosis of the vena cava inferior secondary to catheterization of the femoral vein as a vascular access for haemodialysis. Rev Clin Esp 1990; 187: 311-312.

(17.) Gouge SF, Paulson WD, Moore J Jr. Inferior vena cava thrombosis due to an indwelling haemodialysis catheter. Am J Kidney Dis 1988; 11: 515-518.

(18.) Jean G, Chazot C, Vanel T, et al. Central venous catheters for haemodialysis: looking for optimal blood flow. Nephrol Dial Transplant 1997; 12: 1689-1691.

(19.) Haire WD, Stephens LC, Kotulak GD, Schmit-Pokorny K, Kessinger A. Double-lumen inferior vena cava catheters for peripheral stem cell apheresis and transplantations. Transfus Sci 1995; 16: 79-84.

(20.) Betz C, Kraus D, Muller C, Geiger H. Iliac cuffed tunneled catheters for chronic haemodialysis vascular access. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2006; 21: 2009-2012.

(21.) Fry AC, Jon Stratton J, Farrington K, et al. Factors affecting long-term survival of tunnelled haemodialysis catheters--a prospective audit of 812 tunnelled catheters. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2008; 23: 275-281.

Renal Unit, Department of Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

A G H Assounga, MD, MSc, PhD

SV Ramdial, MB ChB

TM Han, MB ChB, MMed

Department of Radiology, Entabeni Hospital, Durban

M A Conrads, MB ChB

Corresponding author: A Assounga (assoungaa@ukzn.ac.za)
Table I. Profile of patients haemodialysed via IVC catheter

Patient    Age/sex   Nephropathy   Indication

1          41/F      ADPKD         Occlusive veins

2          28/M      Unk           Vein thrombosis

3          40/M      Unk           Occlusive vein

4          20/M      CGN           Vein thrombosis

5          30/M      CGN           Vein thrombosis

6          27/F      CIN           Vein occlusion

7          32/F      Unk           Vein occlusion

Patient   Durat. IVC cath.   Complication   Outcome

1         2; 14 months       Torn; nil      Functioning cath.
                                            Death (cerebral
                                            bleed)

2         8; 10 months       Torn; nil      Resolved,
                                            AV fistula

3         19 months          Infection      Functioning cath.

4         9 months           Occlusion      Replaced by cath.
                                            in collateral
                                            femoral vein

5         11 months          Recurrent      Functioning
                                            infection

6         13 months          Infection      Functioning

7         14 months          Infection      Death

ADPKD = autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease; Unk = unknown;
CGN = chronic glomerulonephritis; CIN = chronic interstitial
nephritis; cath. = catheter
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