A Prospective Comparison of Two Types of Tunneled Hemodialysis Catheters: The Ash Split Versus the PermCath
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Purpose: In a prospective randomized study a standard dual-tip hemodialysis catheter (PermCath, Sherwood Medical, St. Louis, MO, USA) was compared with a newer split-lumen catheter (Ash Split, Medcomp, Harleysville, PA, USA).
Methods: Sixty-nine patients (42 men, 27 women; mean age 62 years) were randomized to receive either the Ash Split (AS) or the PermCath (PC) catheter. The catheters were inserted into the internal jugular vein. The primary outcome evaluated was blood flow measurements during the first six hemodialysis sessions. Secondary outcomes included: technical difficulties encountered at insertion, early complications and late complications requiring catheter removal or exchange.
Results: A total of 69 hemodialysis catheters, 33 AS and 36 PC, were successfully inserted in the internal jugular vein (right 60, left 9) of 69 patients. Mean blood flow during dialysis (Qb) was 270.75 ml/min and 261.86 ml/hr for the AS and PC groups respectively (p = 0.27). Mean duration of catheter use was 111.7 days (range 5.4–548.9 days) and 141.2 days (range 7.0–560.9 days) in the AS and PC groups respectively (p = 0.307). Catheter failures leading to removal or exchange occurred in 20 patients: 14 in the AS group and six in the PC group. Survival curves with censored endpoints (i.e., recovery, arteriovenous fistula formation, peritoneal dialysis and transplantation) showed significantly better outcome with PermCath catheters (p = 0.024). There was no significant difference in ease of insertion or early complication rates.
Conclusion: The Ash Split catheter allows increased rates of blood flow during hemodialysis but this increase was not significant at the beginning (p = 0.21) or end (p = 0.27) of the first six hemodialysis sessions. The Ash Split catheter is more prone to minor complications, particularly dislodgment, than the PermCath catheter.
KeywordsVenous access Hemodialysis Catheter
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