Background: The vascular access preservation and the maintenance of a complication-free fistula remains an Achilles’heel of hemodialysis in chronic kidney patients due to its substantial contribution to the morbidity and mortality. Systematic studies in the area of examining cannulation practices, achieving complication-free cannulation, and strategies to improve fistula survival are needed. For this reason, we consider it essential to create and investigate new methodologies for approaching fistula in patients on regular HD. The Multiple Single Cannulation Technique (MuST) is based on the association between the rope-ladder (RL) using the arteriovenous vessel through progressive rotation, and the buttonhole (BH) since there are three specific cannulation
sites for each cannulation day during the week. The MuST is simple to implement and seems to be a very promising technique in terms of patient safety. Previous studies already showed an arteriovenous fistula survival similar to RL but significantly higher than BH.
Methods: This MuST study is a multicenter, prospective, non-blind, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial with the intervention group submitted to MuST and a control group undergoing the rope-ladder, up to 100 subjects for each group. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to one of two cannulation technique (CT), and the follow-up period of
this study will be 12 months. Primary outcome is to evaluate the arteriovenous fistula survival rate at 12 months determined by the percentage of fistulas in use from the beginning of the study to the date of the first clinical intervention by angioplasty or vascular surgery, to maintain or restore patency (unassisted patency). Secondary outcome is to evaluate arteriovenous fistula survival rate at 12 month determined by the percentage of fistulas in use from the study start to the date of access abandonment due to dysfunction, patient abandonment, or death, treatment change modality or study end. We will also evaluate the assisted primary patency and include the following secondary outcomes associated with the cannulation technique: Infection, Hematoma, Aneurysm development, and pain.
Discussion: The study will investigate whether fistula survival can be improved when using cannulation by MuST compared to the RL. MuST study will provide important information on fistula survival when cannulated by MuST but also information related to its use in fistulas previously cannulated by other CTs.