Relationship between Blood Flow in Central Venous Catheters and Hemodialysis Adequacy
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Central venous catheter dysfunction is a frequent problem and often is defined as a blood flow <300 ml/min. This prospective, cross-sectional study included 259 patients and examined the relationship between catheter blood flow and dialysis adequacy as measured by urea reduction ratio (URR), single pool urea kinetics, and online effective ionic dialysance clearance. Dialysis adequacy at blood flow rates of <300, <275, and <250 ml/min; sensitivity; specificity; and positive and negative predictive values were calculated. Mean blood flow was 352 ml/min (SD +/- 48.8). Mean blood flow <300 ml/min occurred in 10.5% of the patients, and only 26% had a URR of <65%. Maximum blood flows <300 ml/min occurred in 6.9% of patients, and only 22.2% had URR <65%. The positive predictive value of mean blood flow of <300 and <275 ml/min to predict a URR <65% was 22 and 40%, respectively. Using receiver operator characteristic curves, the area under the curve was not significantly different for blood flows of 300, 275, or 250 ml/min. This study indicates that mean blood flows <300 ml/min are not commonly associated with dialysis inadequacy. Setting a single blood flow cut point of <300 ml/min to define the need for intervention will result in a significant number of unnecessary interventions. There is a need to reexamine the definition of catheter dysfunction and expand the definition beyond blood flow rates.
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