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1.  Precision of Biomarkers to Define Chronic Inflammation in CKD 
American Journal of Nephrology  2008;28(5):808-812.
Several inflammatory biomarkers have been found to be associated with cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality in dialysis patients, but their usefulness in clinical practice or as surrogate endpoints is not certain. The purpose of the present study was to determine the intrapatient variation of C-reactive protein, IL-6, fetuin-A and albumin in a population of dialysis patients.
Apparently healthy dialysis patients with either a tunneled dialysis catheter or fistula had monthly assessments of these biomarkers for a total of four determinations, and the intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated as measures of intersubject variance.
Our results showed large within-subject variation relative to the total variation in the measurements (31–46%). Having a tunneled catheter as opposed to a fistula was not significantly associated with mean levels, suggesting that chronic subclinical catheter infection does not explain the variation seen in the biomarkers. In contrast, there was a rapid change in these biomarkers with a clinically apparent acute infection.
These results suggest that these biomarkers have limitations for use as surrogate endpoints in clinical trials due to wide fluctuations, even in apparently clinically healthy individuals.
PMCID: PMC2574778  PMID: 18506106
Biomarkers, precision; Chronic inflammation; Chronic kidney disease; CKD stage 5D; Inflammatory biomarkers, intrapatient variance; Tunneled dialysis catheter
2.  Effects of starting hemodialysis with an arteriovenous fistula or central venous catheter compared with peritoneal dialysis: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:88.
Although several studies have demonstrated early survival advantages with peritoneal dialysis (PD) over hemodialysis (HD), the reason for the excess mortality observed among incident HD patients remains to be established, to our knowledge. This study explores the relationship between mortality and dialysis modality, focusing on the role of HD vascular access type at the time of dialysis initiation.
A retrospective cohort study was performed among local adult chronic kidney disease patients who consecutively initiated PD and HD with a tunneled cuffed venous catheter (HD-TCC) or a functional arteriovenous fistula (HD-AVF) in our institution in the year 2008. A total of 152 patients were included in the final analysis (HD-AVF, n = 59; HD-TCC, n = 51; PD, n = 42). All cause and dialysis access-related morbidity/mortality were evaluated at one year. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to compare the survival of PD patients with those who initiated HD with an AVF or with a TCC.
Compared with PD patients, both HD-AVF and HD-TCC patients were more likely to be older (p<0.001) and to have a higher frequency of diabetes mellitus (p = 0.017) and cardiovascular disease (p = 0.020). Overall, HD-TCC patients were more likely to have clinical visits (p = 0.069), emergency room visits (p<0.001) and hospital admissions (p<0.001). At the end of follow-up, HD-TCC patients had a higher rate of dialysis access-related complications (1.53 vs. 0.93 vs. 0.64, per patient-year; p<0.001) and hospitalizations (0.47 vs. 0.07 vs. 0.14, per patient-year; p = 0.034) than HD-AVF and PD patients, respectively. The survival rates at one year were 96.6%, 74.5% and 97.6% for HD-AVF, HD-TCC and PD groups, respectively (p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, HD-TCC use at the time of dialysis initiation was the important factor associated with death (HR 16.128, 95%CI [1.431-181.778], p = 0.024).
Our results suggest that HD vascular access type at the time of renal replacement therapy initiation is an important modifier of the relationship between dialysis modality and survival among incident dialysis patients.
PMCID: PMC3476986  PMID: 22916962
3.  Arteriovenous Graft Placement in Predialysis Patients: A Potential Catheter-Sparing Strategy 
When pre-dialysis patients are deemed to be unsuitable candidates for an arteriovenous fistula, current guidelines recommend waiting until just before or after initiation of dialysis before placing a graft. This strategy may increase catheter use when these patients start dialysis. We compared the outcomes of patients whose grafts were placed before and after dialysis initiation.
Study design
Retrospective analysis of a prospective computerized vascular access database.
Setting and participants
Chronic kidney disease patients receiving their first arteriovenous graft (n=248) at a large medical center.
Timing of graft placement (before or after initiation of dialysis)
Outcome & measurements
Primary graft failure, cumulative graft survival, catheter-dependence, and catheter-related bacteremia.
The first graft was placed pre-dialysis in 62 patients and post-dialysis in 186 patients. Primary graft failure was similar for pre-dialysis and post-dialysis grafts (20 vs 24%; p=0.5). The median cumulative graft survival was similar for the pre-dialysis and post-dialysis grafts (365 vs 414 days; HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.81–1.98; p=0.3). The median duration of catheter-dependence after graft placement in the post-dialysis group was 48 days, and was associated with 0.63 (95% CI, 0.48–0.79) episodes of catheter-related bacteremia per patient.
Retrospective analysis, single medical center
Grafts placed pre-dialysis have similar primary failure rates and cumulative survival to those placed after starting dialysis. However, post-dialysis graft placement is associated with prolonged catheter dependence and frequent bacteremia. Pre-dialysis graft placement may reduce catheter-dependence and bacteremia in selected patients.
PMCID: PMC4034174  PMID: 21458898
4.  Blood Loss through AV Fistula: A Case Report and Literature Review 
Little has been written about acute blood loss from hemodialysis vascular access. We describe a 57-year-old Caucasian male with an approximately 7 gm/dL drop in hemoglobin due to bleeding from a ruptured aneurysm in his right brachiocephalic arteriovenous fistula (AVF). There was no evidence of fistula infection. The patient was successfully managed by blood transfusions and insertion of a tunneled dialysis catheter for dialysis access. Later, the fistula was ligated and a new fistula was constructed in the opposite arm. Aneurysm should be considered in cases of acute vascular access bleeding in chronic dialysis patients.
PMCID: PMC3118665  PMID: 21716705
5.  The impact of patient preference on dialysis modality and hemodialysis vascular access 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:38.
Home-based dialysis, including peritoneal dialysis (PD) and home hemodialysis (HHD), is associated with improved health related quality of life and reduced health resource costs. It is uncertain to what extent initial preferences for dialysis modality influence the first dialysis therapy actually utilized. We examined the relationship between initial dialysis modality choice and first dialysis therapy used.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) from a single centre who started dialysis after receiving modality education were included in this study. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to assess the independent association of patient characteristics and initial dialysis modality choice with actual dialysis therapy used and starting hemodialysis (HD) with a central venous catheter (CVC).
Of 299 eligible patients, 175 (58.5%) initially chose a home-based therapy and 102 (58.3%) of these patients’ first actual dialysis was a home-based therapy. Of the 89 patients that initially chose facility-based HD, 84 (94.4%) first actual dialysis was facility-based HD. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for first actual dialysis as a home-based therapy was 29.0 for patients intending to perform PD (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.7-78.8; p < 0.001) and 12.4 for patients intending to perform HHD (95% CI 3.29-46.6; p < 0.001). Amongst patients whose first actual dialysis was HD, an initial choice of PD or not choosing a modality was associated with an increased risk of starting dialysis with a CVC (adjusted OR 3.73, 95% CI 1.51-9.21; p = 0.004 and 4.58, 95% CI 1.53-13.7; p = 0.007, respectively).
Although initially choosing a home-based therapy substantially increases the probability of the first actual dialysis being home-based, many patients who initially prefer a home-based therapy start with facility-based HD. Programs that continually re-evaluate patient preferences and reinforce the values of home based therapies that led to the initial preference may improve home-based therapy uptake and improve preparedness for starting HD.
PMCID: PMC3943442  PMID: 24558955
Peritoneal dialysis; Home hemodialysis; Central venous catheter; Predialysis education
6.  Association of Hemodialysis Central Venous Catheter Use With Ipsilateral Arteriovenous Vascular Access Survival 
Central venous catheters are frequently used for hemodialysis vascular access while patients await placement and maturation of an arteriovenous (AV) fistula or graft. Catheters may cause central vein stenosis, which can adversely affect vascular access outcomes. We compared the vascular access outcomes in patients with a history of ipsilateral and contralateral dialysis catheters.
Study design
Retrospective analysis of a prospective computerized vascular access database.
Setting & Participants
Patients at a large medical center who initiated hemodialysis with a catheter and subsequently received a fistula (n=233) or graft (n=89).
History of central venous catheter placement ipsilateral vs. contralateral to the AV fistula or graft.
Outcome & Measurements
Primary access failure (access never suitable for dialysis) and cumulative access survival (time from successful cannulation until permanent access failure).
Among patients receiving a fistula, the primary failure rate was similar for those with ipsilateral and contralateral catheters (50 vs 53%; HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.71–1.26; p=0.7), and the time to fistula maturation was similar (101±41 vs 107±39 days, p=0.5). However, the cumulative fistula survival was inferior in patients with ipsilateral catheters (HR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.33–7.33; p=0.009). Among patients receiving a graft, the primary failure rate was similar for those with ipsilateral and contralateral catheter (35 vs 38%; HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.49–1.73; p=0.8), but the cumulative graft survival tended to be shorter with ipsilateral catheters (HR, 2.04; 95% CI, 0.92–5.38; p=0.07)
Retrospective analysis, single medical center.
The primary failure rate of fistulas and grafts is not affected by the presence of an ipsilateral catheter. However, cumulative access survival is inferior in patients with prior ipsilateral catheters. Avoidance of ipsilateral catheters may improve long–term vascular access survival.
PMCID: PMC4017344  PMID: 22824354
7.  Carpal tunnel syndrome in patients on intermittent haemodialysis 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1975;51(597):450-452.
Twenty-three out of thirty-six patients using a forearm arteriovenous fistula for dialysis reported symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in the fistula hand during dialysis. By contrast with other reported groups of patients with the syndrome, symptoms were common in male patients, and confined to the non-dominant (fistula) hand. Predialysis venous pressure in the hand and hand volume were increased on the side of the fistula, and increasing hand volume during dialysis was associated with the development of symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Severe symptoms during dialysis necessitated carpal tunnel decompression in two male patients. Measures to reduce the incidence of this complication of arteriovenous fistulae in dialysis patients are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2496055  PMID: 1187497
8.  A Crossover Intervention Trial Evaluating the Efficacy of a Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Sponge (BIOPATCH®) to Reduce Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections in Hemodialysis Patients 
Catheter-related bloodstream infections (BSI) account for the majority of hemodialysis-related infections. There are no published data on the efficacy of the chlorhexidine-impregnated foam dressing at reducing catheter-related BSI in hemodialysis patients.
Prospective non-blinded cross-over intervention trial to determine the efficacy of a chlorhexidine-impregnated foam dressing (Biopatch®) to reduce catheter-related BSI in hemodialysis patients.
Two outpatient dialysis centers
A total of 121 patients who were dialyzed through tunneled central venous catheters received the intervention during the trial.
The primary outcome of interest was the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infections. A nested cohort study of all patients who received the Biopatch® Antimicrobial Dressing was also conducted. Backward stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to determine independent risk factors for development of BSI.
37 bloodstream infections occurred in the intervention group for a rate of 6.3 BSIs/1000 dialysis sessions and 30 bloodstream infections in the control group for a rate of 5.2 BSIs/1000 dialysis sessions and [RR 1.22, CI (0.76, 1.97); P=0.46]. The Biopatch® Antimicrobial Dressing was well-tolerated with only two patients (<2%) experiencing dermatitis that led to its discontinuation. The only independent risk factor for development of BSI was dialysis treatment at one dialysis center [aOR 4.4 (1.77, 13.65); P=0.002]. Age ≥ 60 years [aOR 0.28 (0.09, 0.82); P=0.02] was associated with lower risk for BSI.
The use of a chlorhexidine-impregnated foam dressing (Biopatch®) did not decrease catheter-related BSIs among hemodialysis patients with tunneled central venous catheters.
PMCID: PMC3077924  PMID: 20879855
chlorhexidine-impregnated dressing; hemodialysis; bloodstream infection; tunneled catheter
9.  Effects of a Pre-dialysis Patient Education Program on the Relative Frequencies of Dialysis Modalities 
♦ Background: Pre-dialysis education can guide the choice of the dialysis modality best tailored to meet the needs and preferences of individual patients with chronic kidney disease.
♦ Methods: In a retrospective single-center cohort study, we evaluated the impact of a pre-dialysis education program on the incidence rates of patients using hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) in our unit. The frequency distribution of dialysis modalities between people attending our education program and people not attending the program (control group) was analyzed for the 4-year period 2004 - 2008.
♦ Results: From among all the incident chronic kidney disease 5D patients presenting during the 4-year period, we analyzed 227 who started dialysis either with an arteriovenous fistula or a PD catheter. In that cohort, 70 patients (30.8%) took part in the education program, and 157 (69.2%) did not receive structured pre-dialysis counseling. In the group receiving education, 38 patients (54.3%) started with PD, and 32 (45.7%), with HD. In the standard-care group not receiving education, 44 patients (28%) started with PD, and 113 (72%), with HD (p < 0.001).
♦ Conclusions: Our multidisciplinary pre-dialysis program had a significant impact on the frequency distribution of dialysis modalities, increasing the proportion of patients initiating dialysis with PD.
PMCID: PMC3707713  PMID: 23547278
Dialysis modalities; integrated care concept; pre-dialysis education
10.  Association of Initial Hemodialysis Vascular Access with Patient-Reported Health Status and Quality of Life 
Although the arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the recommended form of vascular access for patients with ESRD, its impact on patient perception of health status, quality of life (QOL), or satisfaction is unknown.
Design, setting, participants, and measurements
This study compared patient-reported health status and QOL scores and vascular access type among a national random sample of 1563 patients at dialysis initiation and day 60 of ESRD during 1996 to 1997. Patients were stratified into five categories: AVF at first dialysis and day 60 of ESRD, arteriovenous graft (AVG) at first dialysis and day 60, central venous catheter (CVC) at first dialysis and AVF at day 60, CVC at first dialysis and AVG at day 60, and CVC at first dialysis and day 60.
Ten percent (n = 154) of patients had an AVF, 21% (n = 326) had an AVG, and 69% (n = 1083) had a CVC at dialysis initiation; those who were most likely to use an AVF were white and male. After statistical adjustment, patients with persistent AVF use reported greater physical activity and energy, better emotional and social well-being, fewer symptoms, less effect of dialysis and burden of kidney disease, and better sleep compared with patients with persistent CVC use, whereas measures such as cognitive and sexual function did not differ by access type.
Compared with persistent CVC use, early persistent AVF use is associated with the perception of improved health status and QOL among patients with ESRD. Future longitudinal studies may help to clarify further the association between QOL and vascular access.
PMCID: PMC2728772  PMID: 17699486
11.  Association Between Prior Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters and Lack of Functioning Arteriovenous Fistulas: A Case-Control Study in Hemodialysis Patients 
Although an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the hemodialysis access of choice, its prevalence continues to be lower than recommended in the United States. We assessed the association between past peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and lack of functioning AVFs.
Study Design
Case-control study.
Participants & Setting
Prevalent hemodialysis population in 7 Mayo Clinic outpatient hemodialysis units. Cases were without functioning AVFs and controls were with functioning AVFs on January 31, 2011.
History of PICCs.
Lack of functioning AVFs.
On January 31, 2011, a total of 425 patients were receiving maintenance hemodialysis, of whom 282 were included in this study. Of these, 120 (42.5%; cases) were dialyzing through a tunneled dialysis catheter or synthetic arteriovenous graft and 162 (57.5%; controls) had a functioning AVF. PICC use was evaluated in both groups and identified in 30% of hemodialysis patients, with 54% of these placed after dialysis therapy initiation. Cases were more likely to be women (52.5% vs 33.3% in the control group; P = 0.001), with smaller mean vein (4.9 vs 5.8 mm; P < 0.001) and artery diameters (4.6 vs 4.9 mm; P = 0.01) than controls. A PICC was identified in 53 (44.2%) cases, but only 32 (19.7%) controls (P < 0.001). We found a strong and independent association between PICC use and lack of a functioning AVF (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.9–5.5; P < 0.001). This association persisted after adjustment for confounders, including upper-extremity vein and artery diameters, sex, and history of central venous catheter (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.5–5.5; P = 0.002).
Retrospective study, participants mostly white.
PICCs are commonly placed in patients with end-stage renal disease and are a strong independent risk factor for lack of functioning AVFs.
PMCID: PMC3793252  PMID: 22704142
Chronic kidney disease; end-stage renal disease; arteriovenous fistula; hemodialysis; dialysis access
12.  Peritoneal dialysis associated infections: An update on diagnosis and management 
World Journal of Nephrology  2012;1(4):106-122.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is associated with a high risk of infection of the peritoneum, subcutaneous tunnel and catheter exit site. Although quality standards demand an infection rate < 0.67 episodes/patient/year on dialysis, the reported overall rate of PD associated infection is 0.24-1.66 episodes/patient/year. It is estimated that for every 0.5-per-year increase in peritonitis rate, the risk of death increases by 4% and 18% of the episodes resulted in removal of the PD catheter and 3.5% resulted in death. Improved diagnosis, increased awareness of causative agents in addition to other measures will facilitate prompt management of PD associated infection and salvage of PD modality. The aims of this review are to determine the magnitude of the infection problem, identify possible risk factors and provide an update on the diagnosis and management of PD associated infection. Gram-positive cocci such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, other coagulase negative staphylococcoci, and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) are the most frequent aetiological agents of PD-associated peritonitis worldwide. Empiric antibiotic therapy must cover both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. However, use of systemic vancomycin and ciprofloxacin administration for example, is a simple and efficient first-line protocol antibiotic therapy for PD peritonitis - success rate of 77%. However, for fungal PD peritonitis, it is now standard practice to remove PD catheters in addition to antifungal treatment for a minimum of 3 wk and subsequent transfer to hemodialysis. To prevent PD associated infections, prophylactic antibiotic administration before catheter placement, adequate patient training, exit-site care, and treatment for S. aureus nasal carriage should be employed. Mupirocin treatment can reduce the risk of exit site infection by 46% but it cannot decrease the risk of peritonitis due to all organisms.
PMCID: PMC3782204  PMID: 24175248
Exit site infection; Peritonitis; Tunnel infection; Polymicrobial infection; Catheter removal; Dialysis modality change; Fungal peritonitis; Sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis; Peritoneal dialysis
13.  A Rare Case of Aeromonas Hydrophila Catheter Related Sepsis in a Patient with Chronic Kidney Disease Receiving Steroids and Dialysis: A Case Report and Review of Aeromonas Infections in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients 
Case reports in nephrology  2013;2013:735194.
Aeromonas hydrophila (AH) is an aquatic bacterium. We present a case of fifty-five-year-old gentleman with chronic kidney disease (CKD) due to crescentic IgA nephropathy who presented to us with fever. He was recently pulsed with methyl prednisolone followed by oral prednisolone and discharged on maintenance dialysis through a double lumen dialysis catheter. Blood culture from peripheral vein and double lumen dialysis catheter grew AH. We speculate low immunity due to steroids and uremia along with touch contamination of dialysis catheter by the patient or dialysis nurse could have led to this rare infection. Dialysis catheter related infection by AH is rare. We present our case here and take the opportunity to give a brief review of AH infections in CKD patients.
PMCID: PMC3914193  PMID: 24558624
14.  Lipoteichoic Acid from Staphylococcus aureus Induces Lung Endothelial Cell Barrier Dysfunction: Role of Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49209.
Tunneled central venous catheters (TCVCs) are used for dialysis access in 82% of new hemodialysis patients and are rapidly colonized with Gram-positive organism (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus) biofilm, a source of recurrent infections and chronic inflammation. Lipoteichoic acid (LTA), a cell wall ribitol polymer from Gram-positive organisms, mediates inflammation through the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). The effect of LTA on lung endothelial permeability is not known. We tested the hypothesis that LTA from Staphylococcus aureus induces alterations in the permeability of pulmonary microvessel endothelial monolayers (PMEM) that result from activation of TLR2 and are mediated by reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS). The permeability of PMEM was assessed by the clearance rate of Evans blue-labeled albumin, the activation of the TLR2 pathway was assessed by Western blot, and the generation of RONS was measured by the fluorescence of oxidized dihydroethidium and a dichlorofluorescein derivative. Treatment with LTA or the TLR2 agonist Pam(3)CSK(4) induced significant increases in albumin permeability, IκBα phosphorylation, IRAK1 degradation, RONS generation, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activation (as measured by the p-eNOSser1177:p-eNOSthr495 ratio). The effects on permeability and RONS were effectively prevented by co-administration of the superoxide scavenger Tiron, the peroxynitrite scavenger Urate, or the eNOS inhibitor L-NAME and these effects as well as eNOS activation were reduced or prevented by pretreatment with an IRAK1/4 inhibitor. The results indicate that the activation of TLR2 and the generation of ROS/RNS mediates LTA-induced barrier dysfunction in PMEM.
PMCID: PMC3499573  PMID: 23166614
15.  Treatment of Dialysis Catheter–Related Enterococcus Bacteremia With an Antibiotic Lock: A Quality Improvement Report 
Catheter-related bacteremia (CRB) is a frequent complication of tunneled dialysis catheters, and Enterococcus is a common infecting organism. CRB may be treated by instilling an antibiotic lock into the catheter lumen, in conjunction with systemic antibiotics. The efficacy of this approach in Enterococcus bacteremia is unknown.
Quality improvement report.
Setting and participants
64 catheter-dependent hemodialysis outpatients with vancomycin-sensitive Enterococcus bacteremia treated with a uniform antibiotic lock protocol. Clinical outcomes were tracked prospectively.
Quality improvement plans
Patients received intravenous vancomycin for 3 weeks, in conjunction with a vancomycin lock instilled into both catheter lumens after each dialysis session.
Treatment failure was defined as persistent fever 48 hours after initiation of antibiotics or recurrent Enterococcus bacteremia within 90 days. A clinical cure was defined as fever resolution without recurrent bacteremia. Major infection-related complications within 6 months were documented.
Treatment failure occurred in 25 patients (39%), due to persistent fever in 10, and recurrent bacteremia in 15. Treatment success occurred in 39 patients (61%). A serious complication of Enterococcus CRB occurred in 4 of 64 patients (6%), endocarditis in 1 and osteomyelitis in 3. The frequency of serious complications was 16% (4/25) in patients with treatment failure, as compared with 0% (0/39) in those with treatment success (P=0.01).
This was a single-center study. We did not measure serum vancomycin levels.
An antibiotic lock protocol permits catheter salvage in 61% of hemodialysis patients with Enterococcus CRB. Serious complications occur in 6% of patients, and are more common in those with treatment failure.
PMCID: PMC2614136  PMID: 18848379
16.  Interventional Nephrology: a new subspecialty of Nephrology 
Hippokratia  2007;11(1):22-24.
Interventional Nephrology is a new and emerging subspecialty of Nephrology that mainly deals with ultrasonography of kidneys and ultrasound-guided renal biopsy, insertion of peritoneal dialysis catheters, tunneled dialysis catheters as a vascular access for patients undergoing hemodialysis as well as percutaneous endovascular procedures performed to manage dysfunction of arteriovenous fistulas or grafts in end stage renal disease patients.
Traditionally, these procedures have been delegated to a variety of specialists with resultant delays in diagnosis and initiation of therapy. To avoid the delays nephrologists have taken the initiative to perform these procedures themselves. Indeed, recent data have emphasized that nephrologists can safely and successfully perform these procedures with excellent results.
The success of nephrologist’s role in Interventional Nephrology insures the ideal management of renal patients with effectiveness, safety and lower cost for Public Health System. Certainly nephrologists must have adequate training and develop the necessary skills in the new fields as a prerequisite for the success of the concept.
PMCID: PMC2464263  PMID: 19582172
interventional nephrology; end stage renal disease; hemodialysis; peritoneal dialysis
17.  The impact of an “acute dialysis start” on the mortality attributed to the use of central venous catheters: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:72.
Central venous catheters (CVCs) are associated with early mortality in dialysis patients. However, some patients progress to end stage renal disease after an acute illness, prior to reaching an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at which one would expect to establish alternative access (fistula/peritoneal dialysis catheter). The purpose of this study was to determine if exclusion of this “acute start” patient group alters the association between CVCs and mortality.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 406 incident dialysis patients from 1 Jan 2006 to 31 Dec 2009. Patients were classified as acute starts if 1) the eGFR was >25 ml/min/1.73 m2, ≤3 months prior to dialysis initiation and declined after an acute event (n = 45), or 2) in those without prior eGFR measurements, there was no supporting evidence of chronic kidney disease on history or imaging (n = 12). Remaining patients were classified as chronic start (n = 349).
98 % and 52 % of acute and chronic starts initiated dialysis with a CVC. There were 148 deaths. The adjusted mortality hazard ratio (HR) for acute vs. chronic start patients was 1.84, (95 % CI [1.19-2.85]). The adjusted mortality HR for patients dialyzing with a CVC compared to alternative access was 1.19 (95 % CI [0.80-1.77]). After excluding acute start patients, the adjusted HR fell to 1.03 (95 % CI [0.67-1.57]).
A significant proportion of early dialysis mortality occurs after an acute start. Exclusion of this population attenuates the mortality risk associated with CVCs.
PMCID: PMC3470959  PMID: 22846341
Vascular; Mortality; Dialysis; Catheter; Incident; Access; Fistula; Peritoneal; Acute; Chronic
18.  Event-related distress in kidney disease patients 
Non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease (CKD) and dialysis-dependent Stage 5 CKD (CKD5) are associated with a significant physical and psychosocial burden. Little is known, however, about the impact of stressful life events on CKD and CKD5 patients. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of stressful life events in CKD and CKD5 patients and identify the factors correlated with high levels of event-related distress.
This cross-sectional study’s sample consisted of 181 patients (91 with non-dialysis-dependent CKD Stages 4 and 5, 90 with CKD5) who filled out the Impact of Event Scale (IES), which measures subjective distress related to stressful life events. Other measures included scores from the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Dialysis Symptom Index (DSI).
One hundred and three subjects reported stressors on the IES. Almost half the stressors (49.5%) related to personal health; the rest fell into other categories. There were significant differences between the no stressor, low event-related distress and high event-related distress groups in age (P < 0.001), PHQ-9 score (P < 0.001) and DSI score (P = 0.002). After adjustment, PHQ-9 score was associated with high event-related distress [odds ratio (OR) 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–1.32], as was DSI score (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02–1.07) in a separate model.
Event-related distress is common in CKD and CKD5 patients. High event-related distress is associated with worse depressive symptoms and greater somatic and emotional symptom burden, even with adjustments for age and gender. The renal practitioner may need to address patients’ event-related distress in order to provide optimal care.
PMCID: PMC3350338  PMID: 21624943
chronic kidney disease; depression; distress; end-stage renal disease; quality of life; symptoms
19.  A Modified Method in Laparoscopic Peritoneal Catheter Implantation: The Combination of Preperitoneal Tunneling and Pelvic Fixation 
ISRN Surgery  2013;2013:248126.
Introduction. Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is widely accepted for the management of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Although not as widely used as hemodialysis, CAPD has clear advantages, especially those related to patient satisfaction and simplicity. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter insertion can be accomplished by several different techniques. In this study, we aimed to evaluate our results obtained with peritoneal dialysis catheter placement by combination of pelvic fixation plus preperitoneal tunneling. Material and Methods. Laparoscopic peritoneal catheter implantation by combining preperitoneal tunneling and pelvic fixation methods was performed in 82 consecutive patients with end-stage renal disease. Sex, age, primary disease etiology, complications, mean duration of surgery, mean duration of hospital stay, morbidity, mortality, and catheter survival rates and surgical technique used were assessed. Analysis of catheter survival was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results. Mean follow-up period was 28.35 ± 14.5 months (range of 13–44 months). Mean operative time was 28 ± 6 minutes, and mean duration of hospital stay was 3 ± 1 days. There were no conversions from laparoscopy to other insertion methods. None of the patients developed serious complications during surgery or the postoperative period. No infections of the exit site or subcutaneous tunnel, hemorrhagic complications, abdominal wall hernias, or extrusion of the superficial catheter cuff was detected. No mortality occurred in this series of patients. Catheter survival was found to be 92% at 3 years followup. Conclusions. During one-year followup, we had seven patients of migrated catheters due to separation of pelvic fixation suture from peritoneal surface, but they were reimplanted and fixated again laparoscopically with success. Over a three-year followup period, catheter survival was found to be 92%. In the literature, similar catheter survival rates without combination of the two techniques are reported. As a conclusion, although laparoscopic placement of PD catheters avoids many perioperative and early complications, as well as increasing catheter free survival period and quality of life, our results comparing to other studies in the literature indicate that different laparoscopic placement methods are still in debate, and further studies are necessary to make a more accurate decision.
PMCID: PMC3671265  PMID: 23762625
20.  Hypoxia and oxidative stress markers in pediatric patients undergoing hemodialysis: cross section study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:136.
Tissue injury due to hypoxia and/or free radicals is common in a variety of disease processes. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate effect of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and hemodialysis (HD) on hypoxia and oxidative stress biomarkers.
Forty pediatric patients with CKD on HD and 20 healthy children were recruited. Plasma hypoxia induced factor-1α (HIF-1α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were measured by specific ELISA kits while, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total peroxide (TPX), pyruvate and lactate by enzymatic/chemical colorimetric methods. Oxidative stress index (OSI) and lactate/pyruvate (L/P) ratio were calculated.
TAC was significantly lower while TPX, OSI and VEGF were higher in patients at before- and after-dialysis session than controls. Lactate and HIF-1α levels were significantly higher at before-dialysis session than controls. Before dialysis, TAC and L/P ratio were lower than after-dialysis. In before-dialysis session, VEGF correlated positively with pyruvate, HIF-1α and OSI correlated positively with TPX, but, negatively with TAC. In after-dialysis session, HIF-1α correlated negatively with TPX and OSI; while, OSI correlated positively with TPX.
CKD patients succumb considerable tissue hypoxia with oxidative stress. Hemodialysis ameliorated hypoxia but lowered antioxidants as evidenced by decreased levels of HIF-1α and TAC at before- compared to after-dialysis levels.
PMCID: PMC3509393  PMID: 23061474
21.  A randomised controlled trial of Heparin versus EthAnol Lock THerapY for the prevention of Catheter Associated infecTion in Haemodialysis patients – the HEALTHY-CATH trial 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:146.
Tunnelled central venous dialysis catheter use is significantly limited by the occurrence of catheter-related infections. This randomised controlled trial assessed the efficacy of a 48 hour 70% ethanol lock vs heparin locks in prolonging the time to the first episode of catheter related blood stream infection (CRBSI).
Patients undergoing haemodialysis (HD) via a tunnelled catheter were randomised 1:1 to once per week ethanol locks (with two heparin locks between other dialysis sessions) vs thrice per week heparin locks.
Observed catheter days in the heparin (n=24) and ethanol (n=25) groups were 1814 and 3614 respectively. CRBSI occurred at a rate of 0.85 vs. 0.28 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin vs ethanol group by intention to treat analysis (incident rate ratio (IRR) for ethanol vs. heparin 0.17; 95%CI 0.02-1.63; p=0.12). Flow issues requiring catheter removal occurred at a rate of 1.6 vs 1.4 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin and ethanol groups respectively (IRR 0.85; 95% CI 0.20-3.5 p =0.82 (for ethanol vs heparin).
Catheter survival and catheter-related blood stream infection were not significantly different but there was a trend towards a reduced rate of infection in the ethanol group. This study establishes proof of concept and will inform an adequately powered multicentre trial to definitively examine the efficacy and safety of ethanol locks as an alternative to current therapies used in the prevention of catheter-associated blood stream infections in patients dialysing with tunnelled catheters.
Trial Registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000493246
PMCID: PMC3531247  PMID: 23121768
Catheter related blood stream infection (CRBSI); Central venous catheter; Ethanol; Lock therapy; Haemodialysis (HD); Prophylaxis
22.  Surveillance of Hemodialysis Vascular Access 
A mature, functional arteriovenous (AV) access is the lifeline for a hemodialysis (HD) patient as it provides sufficient enough blood flow for adequate dialysis. As the chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population is expanding, and because of the well-recognized hazardous complications of dialysis catheters, the projected placement and use of AV accesses for HD is on the rise. Although a superior access than catheters, AV accesses are not without complications. The primary complication that causes AV accesses to fail is stenosis with subsequent thrombosis. Surveying for stenosis can be performed in a variety of ways. Clinical monitoring, measuring flow, determining pressure, and measuring recirculation are all methods that show promise. In addition, stenosis can be directly visualized, through noninvasive techniques such as color duplex imaging, or through minimally invasive venography. Each method of screening has its advantages and disadvantages, and several studies exist which attempt to answer the question of which test is the most useful. Ultimately, to maintain the functionality of the access for the HD patient, a team approach becomes imperative. The collaboration and cooperation of the patient, nephrologist, dialysis nurse and technician, vascular access coordinator, interventionalist, and vascular surgeon is necessary to preserve this lifeline.
PMCID: PMC3036423  PMID: 21326504
Hemodialysis; vascular access; surveillance; arteriovenous fistula; arteriovenous graft
23.  Dialysis Treatment Is an Independent Risk Factor for Foot Ulceration in Patients With Diabetes and Stage 4 or 5 Chronic Kidney Disease 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(8):1811-1816.
To determine whether dialysis treatment is an independent risk factor for foot ulceration in patients with diabetes and renal impairment.
We performed a cross-sectional study of consecutive patients with diabetes and stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) attending clinics in Manchester (U.K.). Patients were classified as either receiving dialysis therapy (dialysis) or not (no dialysis). Foot assessment included diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), prior foot ulceration and amputation, and foot self-care. Risk factors for prevalent foot ulceration were assessed by logistic regression.
We studied 326 patients with diabetes and CKD (mean age 64 years; 61% male; 78% type 2 diabetes; 11% prevalent foot ulceration). Compared with no dialysis patients, dialysis patients had a higher prevalence of DPN (79 vs. 65%), PAD (64 vs. 43%), prior amputations (15 vs. 6.4%), prior foot ulceration (32 vs. 20%), and prevalent foot ulceration (21 vs. 5%, all P < 0.05). In univariate analyses, foot ulceration was related to wearing bespoke footwear (odds ratio 5.6 [95% CI 2.5–13]) dialysis treatment (5.1 [2.3–11]), prior foot ulceration (4.8 [2.3–9.8], PAD (2.8 [1.3–6.0], and years of diabetes (1.0 [1.0–1.1], all P < 0.01). In multivariate logistic regression, only dialysis treatment (4.2 [1.7–10], P = 0.002) and prior foot ulceration (3.1 [1.3–7.1], P = 0.008) were associated with prevalent foot ulceration.
Dialysis treatment was independently associated with foot ulceration. Guidelines should highlight dialysis as an important risk factor for foot ulceration requiring intensive foot care.
PMCID: PMC2909067  PMID: 20484126
24.  Upper extremity deep vein thrombosis 
A 56-year-old female, recently (3 months) diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), on maintenance dialysis through jugular hemodialysis lines with a preexisting nonfunctional mature AV fistula made at diagnosis of CKD, presented to the hospital for a peritoneal dialysis line. The recently inserted indwelling dialysis catheter in left internal jugular vein had no flow on hemodialysis as was the right-sided catheter which was removed a day before insertion of the left-sided line. The left-sided line was removed and a femoral hemodialysis line was cannulated for maintenance hemodialysis, and the next day, a peritoneal catheter was inserted in the operation theater. However, 3 days later, there was progressive painful swelling of the left hand and redness with minimal numbness. The radial artery pulsations were felt. There was also massive edema of forearm, arm and shoulder region on the left side. Doppler indicated a steal phenomena due to a hyperfunctioning AV fistula for which a fistula closure was done. Absence of relief of edema prompted a further computed tomography (CT) angiogram (since it was not possible to evaluate the more proximal venous segments due to edema and presence of clavicle). Ct angiogram revealed central vein thrombosis for which catheter-directed thrombolysis and venoplasty was done resulting in complete resolution of signs and symptoms. Upper extremity DVT (UEDVT) is a very less studied topic as compared to lower extremity DVT and the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities still have substantial areas that need to be studied. We present a review of the present literature including incidences, diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for this entity. Data Sources: MEDLINE, MICROMEDEX, The Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews from 1950 through March 2011.
PMCID: PMC3354372  PMID: 22624098
AV fistula; catheter thrombolysis; unilateral upper limb edema; upper extremity deep vein thrombosis
25.  Duration of temporary catheter use for hemodialysis: an observational, prospective evaluation of renal units in Brazil 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:63.
For chronic hemodialysis, the ideal permanent vascular access is the arteriovenous fistula (AVF). Temporary catheters should be reserved for acute dialysis needs. The AVF is associated with lower infection rates, better clinical results, and a higher quality of life and survival when compared to temporary catheters. In Brazil, the proportion of patients with temporary catheters for more than 3 months from the beginning of therapy is used as an evaluation of the quality of renal units. The aim of this study is to evaluate factors associated with the time between the beginning of hemodialysis with temporary catheters and the placement of the first arteriovenous fistula in Brazil.
This is an observational, prospective non-concurrent study using national administrative registries of all patients financed by the public health system who began renal replacement therapy (RRT) between 2000 and 2004 in Brazil. Incident patients were eligible who had hemodialysis for the first time. Patients were excluded who: had hemodialysis reportedly started after the date of death (inconsistent database); were younger than 18 years old; had HIV; had no record of the first dialysis unit; and were dialyzed in units with less than twenty patients. To evaluate individual and renal unit factors associated with the event of interest, the frailty model was used (N = 55,589).
Among the 23,824 patients (42.9%) who underwent fistula placement in the period of the study, 18.2% maintained the temporary catheter for more than three months until the fistula creation. The analysis identified five statistically significant factors associated with longer time until first fistula: higher age (Hazard-risk - HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.99-1.00); having hypertension and cardiovascular diseases (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.9-0.98) as the cause of chronic renal disease; residing in capitals cities (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.9-0.95) and certain regions in Brazil - South (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.8-0.87), Midwest (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.83-0.94), Northeast (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.88-0.94), or North (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.83-0.94) and the type of renal unit (public or private).
Monitoring the provision of arteriovenous fistulas in renal units could improve the care given to patients with end stage renal disease.
PMCID: PMC3227575  PMID: 22093280

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