Transvenous access for acute hemodialysis has advanced recently with the introduction of a double lumen Silastic (silicone rubber), Dacron-cuffed (polyester) catheter (Quinton PermCath), which has a better patient acceptance than the stiff Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene) catheters. We present our experience with 53 PermCath catheters placed in 49 patients (eight to 80 years old). Twenty-two catheters were used for initiation of dialysis, 17 as a bridge to permanent hemoaccess, two as a bridge to peritoneal dialysis and 12 for chronic hemoaccess. We have achieved better success with insertion of catheters through the jugular system (external in 22 instances and internal in 30) by cutdown with fluoroscopic positioning of the catheter tip at the second to third intercostal space. Arterial port alignment was toward the center of the vena cava to reduce sucking against the caval wall during dialysis. No catheter failed to function with this positioning technique. Average catheter use was 84 days with a range of one to 573 days. Catheter thrombosis occurred 40 times in ten patients and was treated successfully in all with the infusion of streptokinase or urokinase. Four patients received chronic warfarin for repeated clotting. Four patients had catheter sepsis that resolved with removal of the catheter and administration of antibiotics. We conclude that the PermCath is an improved means for hemoaccess with a low complication rate. Our key to successful functioning of the PermCath is careful fluoroscopic positioning of the catheter tip.