Outcomes of a nephrologist-driven tunnelled dialysis catheter insertion service in South East Asia

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Tunnelled dialysis catheters (TDCs) are being increasingly inserted by nephrologists globally but there is limited experience and paucity of published outcomes data from South-East Asia (SEA). This study was conducted to analyse the outcomes of TDC insertion by nephrologists from a single centre in SEA.


All patients who underwent TDC insertion by nephrologists from October 2013 to June 2016 were included. TDC survival was calculated using Kaplan-Meier survival method. Impact of variables was assessed using Cox proportional hazards model.


A total of 344 TDCs were inserted in 274 patients. The most common indication was haemodialysis initiation (60.2%) followed by existing catheter dysfunction (CD) (12.2%), failed vascular access (10.2%) and catheterrelated bacteraemia (CRB) (9.9%). Insertion was successful in 97% patients. The most common location was the right internal jugular vein (87%). The cumulative survival for all TDCs inserted, as defined by the time to non-elective removal of a TDC, at 3, 6 and 9 months was 83%, 61%, and 44%, respectively. Median catheter survival was 231 days. Common indications for removal were CD (13.4%) and CRB or suspected infection (12.5%). Common complications were bleeding (8.72%), infection (13.7%) and CD (16.5%). Median time to infection was 103 days. In multivariate analysis, male gender was associated with poor catheter survival, for primary insertions (p = 0.015, HR 0.62) and diabetes was associated with TDC infection (p = 0.024, OR 1.1).


This is one of the first reports of TDC insertion by nephrologists from SEA. Our outcomes compare favourably with those reported in the literature.

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