Transhepatic hemodialysis catheters: Functional outcome and comparison between early and late failure

Houssam K. Younes, Candace D. Pettigrew, Javier E. Anaya-Ayala, George Soltes, Wael E. Saad, Mark G. Davies, Alan B. Lumsden, Eric K. Peden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose To describe the authors' experience with transhepatic placement of catheters, highlighting early and late complications, and to determine if this procedure is a viable option in patients in whom central venous occlusions present a significant challenge. Materials and Methods The records of all the patients who underwent placement of transhepatic hemodialysis from January 2003 to October 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Selected patients were dialysis-dependent, having undergone multiple access procedures and revisions. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate primary and secondary patency. Results Twenty-two patients (mean age 42 years, range 2270 years, 59% women) underwent a total of 127 transhepatic catheter placements at 24 transhepatic access sites; technical success was achieved in all cases. There were no hepatic injuries (bleeding or fistula formation). There were 105 exchanges in 14 patients, with a mean of 7.5 exchanges, a median of 5 exchanges (range 118 exchanges), and a catheter migration rate of 0.39 per 100 catheter-days. The sepsis rate was 0.22 per 100 catheter-days, and the catheter thrombosis rate was 0.18 per 100 catheter-days. The mean cumulative catheter duration in situ was 506.2 days, and the mean time catheter in situ was 87.7 days. The mean total access site interval was 1,046 catheter-days (range of 4231,413 catheter-days). Conclusions Transhepatic hemodialysis catheter placement is associated with low rates of morbidity. In this series, transhepatic catheters provided the possibility of long-term functionality, despite associated high rates of catheter-related maintenance, provides a potentially viable access for patients with exhausted access options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Abbreviations
  • arteriovenous
  • AV
  • desmopressin acetate
  • Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiatives
  • DOQI
  • inferior vena cava
  • IVC
  • SIR
  • Society of Interventional Radiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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