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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2005 September;57(3):151-63

language: English

Vascular access complications in daily dialysis: a systematic review of the literature

Shurraw S. 1, Zimmerman D. 1,2

1 Department of Internal Medicine University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2 Division of Nephrology, Kidney Research Centre Ottawa, ON, Canada


Patients treated for end stage renal disease (ESRD) have a shorter life expectancy and a poorer quality of life than the general population. In an attempt to improve outcomes for this patient population, a few novel therapeutic approaches have been undertaken. With hemodialysis, an increase in dialysis frequency and/or time has been associated with improvements in anemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, hypertension, hyperphosphatemia, nutrition and quality of life. Yet, access to these promising hemodialysis modalities has remained limited. The reasons for this are numerous, but one concern is the potential for more frequent vascular access complications with the increased frequency of cannulation for an arteriovenous fistula/graft and connection for a central venous catheter. In this systematic review of the literature, we identified all published studies that included 10 or more patients on daily hemodialysis and reported quantitative data pertaining to vascular access complications. Twelve studies met our inclusion criteria. The overall complication rates associated with vascular access do not appear to be increased and are perhaps even decreased with daily compared to conventional thrice-weekly hemodialysis. Arteriovenous fistulas are the vascular access of choice for daily hemodialysis; however, a non-statistically significant increased complication rate for these accesses was reported in 2 North American studies. The reasons for this are unclear and require further research.

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