Vascular access in therapeutic apheresis: One size does not fit all
Background: Therapeutic apheresis has been used in treating hematological and non-hematological diseases. For a successful procedure, efficient vascular access is required. Presently, peripheral venous access (PVA), central venous catheterization (CVC), implantable ports, and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are used. This review aims to evaluate different type of access and their pros and cons to help physicians determine the best venous access. Methods: The electronic search included PubMed and Google Scholar up to November 2020. The Mesh terms were apheresis, peripheral catheterization, central catheterization, and arteriovenous fistula. Results: A total of 228 studies were found through database searching. Two independent authors reviewed the articles using their titles and abstracts; 88 articles were selected and the full text was reviewed. Finally, 26 were included. The inclusion criteria were studies incorporating patients with any indication for apheresis. Conclusion: PVA has been promoted in recent years in many centers across the United States to lower the rate of complications associated with vascular access and to make this procedure more accessible. Several factors are involved in selecting appropriate venous access, such as the procedure’s duration and frequency, patient’s vascular anatomy, and staff’s experience. In short-term procedures, temporary vascular access like PVA or CVC is preferred. Permanent vascular access such as AVF, tunneled cuffed central lines, and implantable ports are more beneficial in prolonged treatment period but each patient has to be evaluated individually by apheresis team for the most appropriate method.
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