Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Safety and functionality of transhepatic hemodialysis catheters in chronic hemodialysis patients


  • Bekir Şanal
  • Ömer Fatih Nas
  • Nurullah Doğan
  • Mehmet Korkmaz
  • Kadir Hacıkurt
  • Abdulmecid Yıldız
  • İrem İris Kan Aytaç
  • Bahattin Hakyemez
  • Cüneyt Erdoğan

Received Date: 31.01.2016 Accepted Date: 31.05.2016 Diagn Interv Radiol 2016;22(6):560-565


We aimed to investigate the safety and functionality of tunneled transhepatic hemodialysis catheters in chronic hemodialysis patients.


Thirty-eight patients (20 women aged 56±10 years and 18 men aged 61±11 years) with transhepatic tunneled hemodialysis catheters were evaluated. The date of the first transhepatic catheterization, indications, procedure details, functional time periods of catheters, reasons for the removal or revision of catheters, catheter-related complications, and current conditions of patients were retrospectively analyzed.


A total of 69 catheters were properly placed in all patients (100% technical success) under imaging guidance during the 91-month follow-up period. The functionality of 35 catheters could not be evaluated: five catheters were removed because of noncomplication related reasons (surgical fistulas were opened in two cases [2/35, 5.7%], transplantation was performed in three cases [3/35, 8.6%]), 18 patients died while their catheters were functional (18/35, 51.4%), and 12 catheters were still functional at the time of the study (12/35, 34.3%). The functionality of catheters was evaluated the remaining 34 catheters that necessitated revision because of complications. Furthermore, only half of the catheters were functional on day 136 when evaluated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. The four main complications were thrombosis (16/34, 47%; complication rate of 0.37 days in 100 catheters), infection (8/34, 23.5%; 0.18 days in 100 catheters), migration (8/34, 23.5%; 0.18 days in 100 catheters), and kinking (2/34, 6%; 0.04 days in 100 catheters).


Transhepatic venous catheterization is a safe and functional alternative route in chronic hemodialysis patients without an accessible central venou route. The procedure can be performed with high technical success and low complication rates under imaging guidance.