Hemodialysis tunneled central venous catheters: Five-year outcome analysis

Salvatore Mandolfo, Pasqualina Acconcia, Raffaella Bucci, Bruno Corradi, Marco Farina, Maria Antonietta Rizzo, Andrea Stucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Tunneled central venous catheters (tCVCs) are considered inferior to arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) and grafts in all nephrology guidelines. However, they are being increasingly used as hemodialysis vascular access. The purpose of this study was to document the natural history of tCVCs and determine the rate and type of catheter replacement. Methods: This was a prospective study of 141 patients who underwent hemodialysis with tCVCs between January 2008 and December 2012. The patients used 154 tCVCs. Standard protocols about management of tCVCs, according to European Renal Best Practice, were well established. All catheters were inserted in the internal jugular vein. Criteria for catheter removal were persistent bloodstream infection, detection of an outbreak of catheter-related bloodstream (CRBS) infections, or catheter dysfunction. Event rates were calculated per 1,000 catheter days; tCVC cumulative survival was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: Catheter replacement occurred in 15 patients (0.29 per 1,000 days); catheter dysfunction was the main cause of replacement (0.18 per 1,000 days), typically within 12 months of surgical insertion. A total of 53 CRBS events in 36 patients were identified (0.82 per 1,000 days); 17 organisms, most commonly Gram-positive pathogens, were isolated; 87% of CVC infections were treated by systemic antibiotics associated with lock therapy. tCVC cumulative survival was 91% at 1 year, 88% at 2 years and 85% at 4 years. Conclusions: Our data show a high survival rate of tCVCs in hemodialysis patients, with low incidence of catheter dysfunction and CRBS events. These data justify tCVC use for hemodialysis vascular access, also as first choice, especially in patients with exhausted peripheral access and limited life expectancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-465
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular Access
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Hemodialysis
  • Tunneled venous catheters
  • Vascular access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Nephrology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Hemodialysis tunneled central venous catheters: Five-year outcome analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this