Background: The main limitations of central venous catheters for haemodialysis access are infections and catheter malfunction. Our objective was to assess whether precurved non-tunnelled central venous catheters are comparable to tunnelled central venous catheters in terms of infection and catheter malfunction and to assess whether precurved non-tunnelled catheters are superior to straight catheters. Materials and methods: In this retrospective, observational cohort study, adult patients in whom a central venous catheter for haemodialysis was inserted between 2012 and 2016 were included. The primary endpoint was a combined endpoint consisting of the first occurrence of either an infection or catheter malfunction. The secondary endpoint was a combined endpoint of the removal of the central venous catheter due to either an infection or a catheter malfunction. Using multivariable analysis, cause-specific hazard ratios for endpoints were calculated for tunnelled catheter versus precurved non-tunnelled catheter, tunnelled catheter versus non-tunnelled catheter, and precurved versus straight nontunnelled catheter. Results: A total of 1603 patients were included. No difference in reaching the primary endpoint was seen between tunnelled catheters, compared to precurved non-tunnelled catheters (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.70– 1.19, p=0.48). Tunnelled catheters were removed less often, compared to precurved non-tunnelled catheters (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.46–0.93; p=0.02). A trend for less infections and catheter malfunctions was seen in precurved jugular non-tunnelled catheters compared to straight non-tunnelled catheters (hazard ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.24–1.50; p=0.28) and were removed less often (hazard ratio, 0.41; 95% confidence interval, 0.18–0.93; p=0.03). Conclusion: Tunnelled central venous catheters and precurved non-tunnelled central venous catheters showed no difference in reaching the combined endpoint of catheter-related infections and catheter malfunction. Tunnelled catheters get removed less often because of infection/malfunction than precurved non-tunnelled catheters.

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Keywords Haemodialysis, infections, catheter, complications, vascular access
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Journal Journal of Vascular Access
van Oevelen, M., Abrahams, A.C, Weijmer, M.C., Nagtegaal, T, Dekker, F.W, Rotmans, J.I, … Zonnebeld, N. (2018). Precurved non-tunnelled catheters for haemodialysis are comparable in terms of infections and malfunction as compared to tunnelled catheters: A retrospective cohort study. Journal of Vascular Access, 20(3), 307–312. doi:10.1177/1129729818805954