Optimal choice of dialysis access for chronic kidney disease patients: developing a life plan for dialysis access

Semin Nephrol. 2012 Nov;32(6):530-7. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2012.10.003.


Patient-focused dialysis modality and access selection requires a coordinated teamwork approach that emphasizes chronic kidney disease care to be a continuum of care. Individualized and detailed patient history and examination are the mainstays of dialysis modality and access selection. Preoperative vessel mapping by duplex Doppler ultrasonography can be a useful supplementary investigation to the history and physical examination to determine the optimal dialysis access type and site. Dialysis access modality and choice considers many patient factors that can be aided by a clinical risk score, asking key clinical questions, surgical expert opinion, and a multidisciplinary approach to individualized patient care. In many situations, a lifelong access utilization strategy prioritizes peritoneal dialysis as the first dialysis modality followed by appropriately planned hemodialysis. The goal of an integrated patient-focused approach is to achieve complication-free access to help patients achieve their life goals on and off dialysis.

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex
  • Vascular Access Devices*