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Adv Ren Replace Ther. 2002 Apr;9(2):125-32.

Presternal peritoneal catheter.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.


The swan neck presternal catheter is composed of 2 flexible (silicon rubber) tubes joined by a titanium connector at the time of implantation. The exit site is located in the parasternal area. The catheter located on the chest was designed to reduce the incidence of exit site infections compared to peritoneal dialysis catheters with abdominal exits. From August 1991 to September 30, 2001, 974 swan neck presternal catheters were implanted worldwide. At the university of Missouri, 150 of these catheters were implanted and followed for over 130 patient years. Presternal catheters tended to perform better than swan neck abdominal catheters regarding exit and tunnel infections, even though they were implanted in several patients in whom regular catheters with the exit on the abdomen would be difficult or impossible to implant. Two-year survival probability of presternal catheters was 0.95. Recurrent/refractory peritonitis was the only reason for catheter failure. The catheter is particularly useful in obese patients (body mass index >35), patients with ostomies, children with diapers and fecal incontinence, and patients who want to take baths without the risk of exit contamination. Many patients prefer presternal catheter because of better body image. Disadvantages of the presternal catheter are minimal. Compared with abdominal catheters, dialysis-solution flow is slightly slower because of the increased catheter length; however, slower flow is insignificant clinically. There is a possibility of catheter disconnection in the tunnel, but this complication is extremely rare in adults and easily corrected. Finally, the implantation technique is more challenging compared with that of single-piece, abdominal catheters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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