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Thigh grafts: a preferable alternative to catheters when upper extremity access sites are exhausted.

Authors
  • Abreo, Kenneth D
  • Ram, Sunanda J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Seminars in dialysis
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
Volume
22
Issue
5
Pages
469–471
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2009.00613.x
PMID: 19522760
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Hemodialysis patients with failed upper extremity (arm) access sites comprise 5-10% of the dialysis population. In these patients, arm vessels are either unsuitable for access placement due to trauma or peripheral vascular disease, or have been exhausted following dialysis usage. Synthetic grafts in the lower extremity (thigh) would benefit these patients, but surgeons are often reluctant to place them, due to concerns of infection and vascular complications. As a result, these patients receive tunneled central venous catheters as their permanent dialysis access. Recent studies have shown, however, that survival and complication rates of thigh grafts are similar to arm grafts and fistulas. Moreover, thigh grafts have lower infection and mortality rates than catheters and provide higher blood flows and dialysis adequacy. In this editorial we argue that thigh grafts are the better option in patients who have lost all arm access sites; they should be placed in preference to tunneled central venous catheters.

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