Vascular access types in patients starting hemodialysis after failed kidney transplant: does close nephrology follow-up matter?



Native arteriovenous fistulae (AVFs) are preferred while central venous catheters (CVCs) are least suitable vascular access (VA) in patients requiring hemodialysis (HD). Unfortunately, around 80% of patients start HD with CVCs. Late referral to nephrologist is thought to be a factor responsible for this. We retrospectively analyzed the types of VA at HD initiation in renal transplant recipients followed by nephrologists with failed transplant. If early referral to nephrologist improves AVF use, these patients should have higher prevalence of AVF at HD initiation.


All patients who failed their kidney transplants from January 2002 to April 2013 were included in the study. Data regarding planning of VA by nephrologist, documented discussion about renal replacement therapy (RRT), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at 6 months and last clinic visit before HD initiation, time of VA referral, and subsequent VA at dialysis initiation were gathered and analyzed.


Eighty-three patients failed their transplants during study period. Data were inaccessible in six patients. Eleven patients started peritoneal dialysis (PD) while 66 started HD. Thirty-two had previous functioning VA while 34 needed VA. There were 11/34 patients (32%) with eGFR <15 mL/min at six months while 21/34 (61%) had eGFR <15 mL/min at last clinic visit before HD initiation. Only 11/34 (32%) had documented RRT discussion, 8/34 (24%) had VA referral, and 7/34 (21%) had vein mapping. A total of 30/34 (88.3%) started HD with CVC while 4/34 (11.3%) started HD with AVF (p<0.0001).


Early referral to nephrologist by itself may not improve VA care amongst patient with end-stage renal disease.

J Vasc Access 2017; 18(1): 22 - 25





Naveed Ul Haq, Mohamed Said Abdelsalam, Mohammed Mahdi Althaf, Abdulrahman Ali Khormi, Hassan Al Harbi, Bader Alshamsan, Mamdouh Nasser Albaqumi, Dieter Clemens Broering, Lutfi Alkorbi, Hassan Ali Aleid

Article History


Financial support: No grants or funding have been received for this study.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has financial interest related to this study to disclose.

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  • Department of Medicine, Section of Nephrology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC), Riyadh - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Nephrology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria - Egypt
  • Department of Kidney and Pancreas Transplant, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC), Riyadh - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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