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Does heparin coating improve patency or reduce infection of tunneled dialysis catheters?

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Does heparin coating improve patency or reduce infection of tunneled dialysis catheters?

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GROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Tunneled dialysis catheters are prone to frequent malfunction and infection. Catheter thrombosis occurs despite prophylactic anticoagulant locks. Catheter thrombi may also serve as a nidus for catheter infection, thereby increasing the risk of bacteremia. Thus, heparin coating of catheters may reduce thrombosis and infection. This study evaluated whether heparin-coated hemodialysis catheters have fewer infections or greater cumulative survival than noncoated catheters. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: We retrospectively queried a prospective access database to analyze the outcomes of 175 tunneled dialysis catheters placed in the internal jugular vein, including 89 heparin-coated catheters and 86 noncoated catheters. The primary outcome was cumulative catheter survival, and the secondary outcome was infection-free catheter survival. RESULTS: The two patient groups were similar in demographics and clinical and catheter features. Catheter-related bacte

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