Effect of a Multifaceted Intervention on the Incidence of Hemodialysis Catheter Dysfunction in a National Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Trial

Benjamin Lazarus (Leading Author), Sradha Kotwal, Martin Gallagher, Nicholas A. Gray, Sarah Coggan, Kris Rogers, Girish Talaulikar, Kevan R. Polkinghorne (Leading Author), on behalf of the REDUCCTION Investigators

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Introduction: Effective strategies to prevent hemodialysis (HD) catheter dysfunction are lacking and there is wide variation in practice. Methods: In this post hoc analysis of the REDUcing the burden of dialysis Catheter ComplicaTIOns: a national (REDUCCTION) stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial, encompassing 37 Australian nephrology services, 6361 participants, and 9872 catheters, we investigated whether the trial intervention, which promoted a suite of evidence-based practices for HD catheter insertion and management, reduced the incidence of catheter dysfunction, which is defined by catheter removal due to inadequate dialysis blood flow. We also analyzed outcomes among tunneled cuffed catheters and sources of event variability. Results: A total of 873 HD catheters were removed because of dysfunction over 1.12 million catheter days. The raw incidence was 0.91 events per 1000 catheter days during the baseline phase and 0.68 events per 1000 catheter days during the intervention phase. The service-wide incidence of catheter dysfunction was 33% lower during the intervention after adjustment for calendar time (incidence rate ratio = 0.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.50–0.89; P = 0.006). Results were consistent among tunneled cuffed catheters (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.49–0.94), which accounted for 75% of catheters (n = 7403), 97.4% of catheter exposure time and 88.2% of events (n = 770). Among tunneled catheters that survived for 6 months (21.5% of tunneled catheters), between 2% and 5% of the unexplained variation in the number of catheter dysfunction events was attributable to service-level differences, and 18% to 36% was attributable to patient-level differences. Conclusion: Multifaceted interventions that promote evidence-based catheter care may prevent dysfunction, and patient factors are an important source of variation in events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1941-1950
Number of pages10
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • CVC
  • dialysis
  • malfunction
  • randomized
  • renal
  • variance

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