Between July 1984 and July 1991, we have inserted surgically 147 Permcath Quinton catheters in 126 uremic patients for the following reasons: group I: necessity of hemodialysis without vascular access for acute (group Ia: 44 patients) or chronic renal failure (group Ib: 11 patients); group II: difficulty of creation or loss of vascular access (group II: 45 patients); group III: hemodialysis for patients with short life expectation or contraindications for vascular access on their limbs (group III: 26 patients). The duration of use (+/- SD and range) were respectively for each group: 1.6 +/- 2 (0-10); 3.4 +/- 2.8 (1-11); 7.4 +/- 11 (0-50); 6.7 +/- 8.7 (0.1-34.5) months. Seventeen patients (group IV) coming from groups Ib and II preferred to go on with the use of their catheter for 10.5 +/- 13.5 (0.1-50) months rather than to use their arteriovenous fistula. The complications observed on whole population were: 11 septicemia responsible of 2 deaths, 9 cutaneous local infections, 28 total obstructions of the catheter, 17 partial obstructions with insufficient flow; 10 destructions of the catheter. In conclusion the Permcath Quinton catheter is an adequate long term vascular access for hemodialysis. It is well tolerated since it is preferred to the usual arteriovenous fistula by many patients who have both. The incidence of infection is low. However, obstruction (partial ou total) is frequent (29%), necessitating local fibrinolytic treatment.