Waldemar Letachowicz

Wroclaw Medical University, Vrotslav, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

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Publications (28)58.91 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic hemodialysis is implemented when irreversible loss of kidney function occurs. Sometimes renal recovery is overlooked. From January 2005 to December 2014, we identified 28 patients hemodialyzed for more than 3 months who had renal replacement therapy discontinued. The group consisted of 17 (57.7%) males and 11 (42.3%) females. Patients were 18-87 years old. Time of hemodialysis ranged from 3 to 97 months. Of note, 14 (50%) patients were referred from local dialysis units for solution of vascular access problems. In 13 (46.2%) patients dialysis was abandoned within the first 6 months, in 5 (17.8%) patients between 6 and 12 months, and in 10 (35.7%) patients beyond 12 months. Estimated dialysis-free survival was 94.4% (SE 0.054) and 82% (SE 0.095) at 12 and 24 months, respectively. All physicians must be aware of possible kidney function improvement. In patients with preserved diuresis fall in periodical urea or creatinine measurements might be a sign of renal recovery.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Hemodialysis International
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The snuffbox arteriovenous fistula (SBAVF) is the most distal native vascular access. Although published data show a favorable outcome, the SBAVF is not strongly recommended by the guidelines. The present study compared the patency of SBAVFs and wrist AVFs (WAVFs). Methods: All 416 AVFs created by the same nephrologist from March 2006 to October 2014 were reviewed. From 416 procedures, 47 SBAVFs and 77 WAVFs with vessels suitable for a SBAVF were selected. Results: Although vessel diameters used for construction of the SBAVFs were smaller than those used for WAVFs, the outcome of vascular access was similar. At 18 months, primary patency was 72% for SBAVF and 65% for WAVF (P = .48), and secondary patency was 93% for SBAVF and 94% for WAVF (P = .89). Conclusions: In our experience, a SBAVF performs as well as a WAVF up to 18 months after creation. We suggest favoring SBAVF, especially in young patients without comorbidities, as the primary vascular access.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of vascular surgery: official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) needs maturation before it can be used. Needling done before time may result in haematoma formation, miscannulation or even access loss. This retrospective study included 20 patients with AVFs punctured with fluoroplastic dialysis catheters within 30 days after access creation and 19 historical controls. The time to first puncture was 2-29 days for the study group and 1-26 days for the control group. The incidences of haematoma were 16.7 and 48 per 1,000 dialysis sessions for plastic and metal needles, respectively. Estimated primary functional fistula survival at 3, 6 and 12 months were 95, 90 and 74% for the study group and 79, 67 and 60% for the control group (p = 0.106), respectively. Use of plastic needles enables safe AVF cannulation. If applied judiciously, it can minimize or even avoid catheter use. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Blood Purification
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reconstruction of vascular access in patients with kidney allograft failure is a challenging problem. A case of a 62-year-old man with transplanted kidney insufficiency is described. The patient was initially dialyzed with a wrist radial-cephalic arteriovenous fistula. In the post-transplantation period, the enormously dilated venous part of the anastomosis was ligated and the part of the vein suspected of being the source of bacteremia was excised. The man was referred to our department due to kidney allograft failure for vascular access creation. During preoperative assessment, we unexpectedly found a soft thrill on the forearm. Doppler ultrasound confirmed fistula patency, although the blood supply was not sufficient to perform dialysis. Angiography showed the blood flow from the radial artery to the cephalic vein, through a complicated vessel system consisting of inter alia a dilated vein of the subcutaneous venous network. We successfully used this vein as the vascular access outflow for fistula recreation. In conclusion, making use of veins of the subcutaneous venous network of the forearm for creation of a native fistula should be considered in selected cases. © 2015 International Society for Hemodialysis.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Hemodialysis International
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a case of long-term uneventful catheter use in a patient with previous recurrent vascular access dysfunction and infection. A single-lumen tunneled catheter was inserted into the left internal jugular vein after a failed attempt of dual-lumen permanent catheter placement. The follow-up since device implantation has exceeded 5 years without any complications related to vascular access. © 2015 International Society for Hemodialysis.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Hemodialysis International
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    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A profound knowledge of vascular anatomy and an understanding of vascular access functionality with respect to possible complications are critical in selecting the site for arteriovenous anastomosis. Outline of vasculature variations of the upper limb with prevalence reported in literature of at least 1%, which may affect access creation, is depicted in this review. Over a dozen arterial anatomical anomalies of the upper limb, the most common is "high origin" of the radial artery (12-20%). Superficial positions of brachial, ulnar and radial artery as well as accessory brachial are another possible anatomic variants (0.5-7%). The most variable venous layout on the upper arm is seen in the anatomy of the brachial vein and the basilic vein forming the axillary vein. Three types of basilic vein course on upper arm have been described. The mapping technique to assess vascular variants facilitate site selection for AVF creation even in cases with previously attempted failed access (misdiagnosed vascular variant could force to secondary options). Thus, a thorough understanding and evaluation of anatomy, taking into consideration the possible vascular variations of the forearm and upper arm, are necessary in the planning of AVF creation and increase the success of AVF procedures.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · The journal of vascular access
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction and Aims: On-line dialysance (Kt) and thermodilution (BTM-Qa) methods could be important components in vascular access monitoring programs. This study evaluated the efficiency of these two methods in reducing the thrombosis rate and access-related costs compared with a historic control group. Methods: We studied 148 long-term hemodialysis patients with arteriovenous fistulas (historical control group, n = 74) for 2 years. During the study period, the indications for vascular treatments were the Kt reduction ≥20% with respect to baseline values or Qa less than 500 mL/min (or a decrease in flow > 20%). Differences between the Qa and Kt groups were tested using Student’s T-Test or the Wilcoxon test, as appropriate. The χ2 test was used to analyze the angioplasty and thrombosis rates compared with the historical control group. A P-value ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: During the study period, we detected 16 cases of significant vascular access dysfunction. The Kt value after vascular treatment was 71.1L (59L; P = 0.001) and BTM-Qa was 1218.6 mL/min (519.7 mL/min; P = 0.001). Compared with the control group, the thrombosis rate was 0.027 vs 0.148 episodes/patient-year (P = 0.009) and the total access-related cost was €22,293 vs €47,467 (P = 0.033). Conclusions: This study suggests that a combined monitoring program based on Kt and Qa-BTM represents an effective screening method that significantly reduces the thrombosis rate and economic costs of vascular treatments View larger version: In this window In a new window Download as PowerPoint Slide
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elderly patients, defined as octogenarians and nonagenarians, are an increasing population entering renal replacement therapy. Advanced age appears as an exclusive factor negatively influencing dialysis practice. Elderly patients are referred late for the initiation of hemodialysis and more likely are offered catheters rather than arteriovenous fistulae (AVF), which increase mortality and negatively affect quality of life. We present our approach to the creation of vascular access for hemodialysis in this demanding population. In 2006-2012, 39 patients aged 85.9 ± 2.05 with end-stage renal disease, mainly resulting from ischemic nephropathy, were admitted to the Department of Nephrology to establish permanent vascular access for hemodialysis: preferably AVF. Temporary dialysis catheters were implanted in uremic emergency to bridge the time to fistula creation/maturation. AVF was attempted in 87.2% of the patients. Primary AVF function was achieved in 54% of the patients. Cumulative proportional survival of AVF at months 12 and 24 was 81.5%. Ninety-four percent of AVF were localized on the forearm: 74% in the distal and 20% in the proximal part. Mean duration of hemodialysis therapy was 20.80 ± 19.45 months. The mean time of AVF use was 15.9 ± 20.2 months. Until present, 38% have been dialyzed using AVF for 31.0 ± 18.8 months. Five patients died with functioning fistula. Eight patients initiated hemodialysis therapy with fistula. During further observation, the use of AVF increased to 62%. Elderly patients should not be denied creation of AVF as a rule. The outcome of AVF benefits more from acknowledging individual vascular conditions rather than age of the patient.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Hemodialysis International
  • No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Heart (British Cardiac Society)
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: The standard approach in patients with a clotted arteriovenous fistula (AVF) on the forearm is the creation of another vascular access on the arm using the patient’s own vessels or a prosthetic graft. Here we propose another option as secondary angioaccess for chronic hemodialysis (HD): superficialization of the radial artery. Methods: Indications for the procedure were 1) long-standing forearm AVF that has irreversibly clotted and/or central vein stenosis resistant to angioplasty; 2) patients who have no other prospect for forearm or even brachial AVF. The procedure was undertaken in 7 chronic HD patients dialyzed by forearm AVF for 27±26 months. Results: In one case the superficialization was abandoned intra-operatively due to small diameter of the artery (<4 mm). Five of 6 elevated arteries were patent and the follow-up period ranges from 11 to 15 (median 12) months. In 1 male patient with prothrombin G20210A mutation the artery clotted after 13 months of usage. Conclusions: Superficialized radial artery was successfully used for hemodialysis over one year. The only prerequisite for safe repeated puncture is a patent and enlarged radial artery. Due to avoidance of arteriovenous shunt this access type may be particularly suitable for patients with cardiac failure.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · The journal of vascular access
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although catheter use exposes the patient to several complications, tunneled cuffed catheters are widely applied for temporary or long-term vascular access. The aim of the study was to establish the rate of tunneled dialysis catheter damage and report our experience with breakage repair. All 363 cuffed tunneled hemodialysis catheters inserted into 309 patients from May 2000 to December 2008 were followed up. When connector damage was encountered, repair with a two-piece adaptor for peritoneal dialysis was attempted. Mechanical breakage occurred in 33 (9.1%) of catheters with an incidence of 0.36/1000 catheter-days. The most frequent was connector damage, found in 25 cases (67.6%). Catheter repair using a peritoneal dialysis Luer adaptor was performed with good early and long-term outcome. Tunneled catheter breakage is a relatively rare complication. Catheter repair using the adaptor for peritoneal dialysis is easy to perform, safe, and cost-effective.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · The journal of vascular access
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemodialyzed patients are at risk of multiple catheterizations. Nephrologists performing such procedures need to be familiar with congenital and acquired vascular abnormalities. We describe a successful insertion and use of a cuffed-tunneled catheter in a patient with unusual anatomy of the central venous system. Computed tomography angiography revealed thrombosis of the right subclavian vein and bilateral occlusion of innominate veins. The left internal jugular and subclavian veins joined to form a large vessel that drained through the accessory hemiazygos and azygos veins into the superior vena cava. The catheter was implanted through the left internal jugular vein into the accessory hemiazygos vein. The presented case demonstrates that the catheter can be implanted into distended collateral, especially when no other location is possible.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Hemodialysis International
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Management of failing tunneled hemodialysis catheters, sometimes the only vascular access for hemodialysis, presents a difficult problem. In spite of various techniques having been developed, no consensus has been reached about the preferred technique, associated with the longest catheter patency. We report disruption of the fibrin sheath covering dysfunctional tunneled hemodialysis catheter by means of angioplasty, followed by over guidewire catheter exchange. Following the procedure, the catheter placed in the recovered lumen of the vessel presented correct function. The described procedure allowed maintenance of vascular access in our patient. Additionally, dilatation of the concomitant central vein stenosis opens an option for another attempt for arteriovenous fistula creation.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · The journal of vascular access
  • Krzysztof Letachowicz · Wacław Weyde · Waldemar Letachowicz · Marian Klinger
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The function of vascular access has a key significance in hemodialysis treatment results. An overview of factors contributing to successful arteriovenous fistula (AVF) constructions and the effect of vascular access quality on the outcome of renal replacement therapy were analyzed, including our study observations. On the basis of the data obtained in the study, the creation of autogenous AVF was reported to be possible in 92.9% of the 213 investigated patients. In 81.2% of the patients, vascular access was found to be located on the forearm. Comorbidities, especially congestive heart failure and peripheral vascular disease, were the main factors that had a negative effect on AVF construction and quality. AVF abnormalities were detected on physical examination in 37% of the patients. Results from the physical examination were found to be consistent with those obtained from Doppler ultrasound, thermodilution, and intra-access pressure measurement. AVF stenosis significantly increased the risk for access thrombosis, catheter insertion, and vascular access-related hospitalization.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of Renal Nutrition
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anatomical variations of the radial artery are of clinical importance in end-stage renal disease patients awaiting creation of native arteriovenous fistula for hemodialysis. As radial-cephalic direct wrist fistula is a vascular access of choice, atypical localization of the distal part of the radial artery may lead to the false assumption of severe atherosclerotic lesions and prevent creation of such an access, despite good vessel conditions and convenient surgical approach. We present 7 patients with radial artery variations. In 5 patients with superficial radial artery, radial-cephalic direct wrist access was created. One patient, due to an anomaly misdiagnosis, had radial-cephalic fistula created on the contra lateral wrist. In the patient with hypoplastic radial artery brachial-basilic upper arm transposition was created.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Clinical nephrology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity, which is often associated with diabetes, is increasingly encountered in the haemodialysed population, and this may produce difficulty in autogenous arteriovenous fistula creation. Prosthetic angioaccess or catheters, when used in place of autogenous fistulas, increase thrombotic and infectious complications in these already challenged patients. This prospective study was undertaken to assess the feasibility of autogenous arteriovenous fistula creation in 71 obese patients (BMI 34.6 +/- 7.8). We performed a two-stage procedure, in which radio-cephalic fistula formation was followed by subcutaneous transposition of the venous component for safe and easy puncture. Fistulas suitable for puncture, having blood flows of 799 +/- 285 ml/min, and sufficient to perform adequate haemodialysis (Kt/V 1.24) were achieved in 85% of the patients. Primary patency rates were 65% and 59% at 6 and 12 months, respectively, and secondary patency rates were 83% both at 6 and 12 months. Obesity does not prevent successful autogenous arteriovenous fistula formation, and may protect forearm venous vessels from the iatrogenic damage that occurs before the onset of haemodialysis therapy.
    No preview · Article · May 2008 · Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are the solution of choice among diverse types of vascular access. The forearm basilic vein is rarely used for creating autogenous vascular access. Its use presents a valuable option when autogenous wrist radial-cephalic direct access cannot be created due to the destruction of forearm veins. Results obtained with autogenous wrist ulnar-basilic direct access and autogenous wrist radial-basilic transposition are presented below. In the decade 1993-2003, native fistulas utilizing the forearm basilic vein were performed in 27 patients (14 women, 13 men). The basilic vein was anastomosed to the ulnar artery or was transposed and anastomosed to the radial artery. AVF creation was successful in 22 patients (81.5%). The primary patency rate was 70.4% after 1 year, 61.6% after 2 years and 48.4% after 3 years. AVFs utilizing the forearm basilic vein can be considered for primary or secondary vascular access because of the acceptable survival rate and low incidence of hand ischemia. Transposition of the basilic vein is a valuable option in the reconstruction of a thrombosed or stenosed radial-cephalic fistula.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Journal of nephrology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proximal forearm antecubital fistula described by Gracz is a valuable option for autogenous vascular access for hemodialysis in patients with destroyed forearm veins or advanced arteriosclerotic and calcified radial arteries. Results obtained with a variant of the Gracz fistula are presented. Patients with forearm vein destruction or failed distal radiocephalic fistulas were selected to have a variant of the Gracz fistula created and were followed up for 36 months. In each patient, the radial artery was anastomosed side to end or end to end to the perforating vein. Additionally, in some patients, the median cephalic or basilic vein was relocated subcutaneously to increase the accessibility of veins for puncture. Native arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) in the cubital region using a perforating vein were created in 77 patients (34 women, 43 men) referred to the Department of Nephrology and Transplantation Medicine, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland, from 1992 to 2006. Percentages of successful fistula creation and primary patency rates, defined from fistula placement to any maintaining intervention, and cumulative patency, defined from placement to fistula abandonment, were assessed. AVF creation was successful in 56 patients (73%). Primary patency rates during the follow-up period were 47% after 1 year, 43% after 2 years, and 39% after 3 years. Cumulative patency rates were 67% after 1 year, 56% after 2 years, and 53% after 3 years. These results reflect performance of a single center and thus may not be generalizable to surgeons less experienced in this technique. Radial artery-perforating vein fistulas have an acceptable survival rate and do not produce circulatory complications. This method may be applicable for AVF creation in patients with forearm vein destruction/abnormalities and as a rescue procedure for an old clotted fistula after kidney transplant failure.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2007 · American Journal of Kidney Diseases
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kidney recipients with failing allograft function face the vascular access problem again before returning to hemodialysis. An autologous arteriovenous fistula (AVF), according to the recent Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) guidelines, is the optimal vascular access and the use of prosthetic grafts and catheters should be limited. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of AVF reconstruction in patients reentering hemodialysis after kidney allograft failure. Two hundred and forty-one transplant recipients reentered hemodialysis between 1990 and 2005. Before kidney transplantation, 221 patients had a functioning AVF on the forearm. Fistula reconstruction was attempted in 112 (51%) patients because of AVF thrombosis. Three strategies were applied according to forearm vein patency: a new radial-cephalic fistula, a radial-perforating vein fistula, or a radial-basilic forearm transposition was created. Forearm AVFs were successfully reconstructed in 85 of the 112 patients (73%). The primary patency of the reconstructed AVFs was 57.6% and 44% at 12 and 24 months. Secondary patency was 64.9% and 54.9% at 12 and 24 months, respectively. The reconstruction of an old, thrombosed AVF is possible in kidney recipients returning to dialysis, even if the time from thrombosis to fistula repair is a few years.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2007 · Clinical Transplantation