Central venous lines (CVL) continue to be the most commonly used vascular access device for children on hemodialysis (HD). Despite their frequent use, little is known regarding the frequency of CVL-related intradialytic complications that could interfere with delivery of effective dialysis. To better assess this, we conducted a cross-sectional study of ten HD centers within the Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium. Vascular access was provided by CVL in 61 of the 83 patients (73%) included. CVL dysfunction (defined as reduced blood flows, need for reversed lines, or frequent intradialytic alarms) occurred in 46% in the prior month. Treatment for suspected clots occurred in 16 patients. Intraluminal tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was the preferred treatment for a suspected clot. The survey also inquired about the preferred treatment for documented clots, and intraluminal tPA was most preferred, followed by CVL stripping, CVL removal, CVL brushing, and systemic tPA. As for preventative strategies, most HD centers locked the CVL with intraluminal heparin in concentrations ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 U/ml. In conclusion, catheter usage rates and complications were highly prevalent in pediatric HD units in this study. As treatment strategies varied greatly, future prospective studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of each individual therapy.
- Catheter complications
- Catheter malfunction
- Catheter stripping
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD)
- Fibrin sheath
- Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)