Journal Article

Repeated femoral vein puncturing for maintenance haemodialysis vascular access

Hiroshi Kaneda, Fumika Kaneda, Kyutaro Shimoyamada, Shinichiroh Sakai and Mitsuo Takahashi

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 18, issue 8, pages 1631-1638
Published in print August 2003 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online August 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Repeated femoral vein puncturing for maintenance haemodialysis vascular access

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Background. When access cannot be achieved using a native arteriovenous fistula or a synthetic prosthetic graft, central venous catheters are usually placed. This mode of access is short-lived, prone to infection, stenosis and thrombosis of central veins. To overcome access problems, we developed a new native vascular access (‘femoral vein access’) and devices. We report here on our experience with the availability, longevity, procedure and morbidity of haemodialysis (HD) using femoral vein access.

Methods. Repeated (three times a week) patient’s native femoral vein puncturing has been used as the vascular access (femoral vein access) for maintenance HD in 30 patients (mean age ± SD: 61.70 ± 15.27 years old; 18 female/12 male). The femoral vein was punctured beneath the inguinal ligament (on a length ranging from 30 to 100 mm) after disinfection and local anaesthesia. Long (effective length 56 mm) 19- and 18-gauge needles with four side holes were used for the femoral vein puncture as an arterial site of the extracorporeal circuit of HD and shorter (effective length 40 mm) similar gauge needles for the subcutaneous vein puncture used as the return site. The needle is inserted blind into the femoral vein after the femoral artery has been located by palpation and the perception of a pulse. Patients returned home the same day.

Results. The mean duration of HD treatment using femoral vein repeated puncture was 4.99 ± 3.42 years (up to 16.0 years). This represented a total experience of 23 369 femoral vein punctures. The mean blood flow achieved on dialysis was 165 ± 20 ml/min. The average Kt/V was 1.74 ± 0.48 per session.

Conclusions. The femoral vein repeated puncture technique has substantial advantages over venous catheters. It does not require surgery, while permitting adequate blood flow. This method can be used as a long-term (over 10 years) blood access. Apart from a few local haematomas, no serious complications have been observed. Moreover, it does not carry a heavy financial burden.

Keywords: adequate dialysis; haemodialysis; long survival; morbidity; native femoral vein puncture; vascular access

Journal Article.  4009 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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