Central venous catheters are used as permanent vascular access for chronic hemodialysis when construction of an arteriovenous fistula is not possible or contraindicated. We prospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of a 5% citrate versus 10% citrate catheter lock for permanent single-lumen dialysis catheters in a double-blind, crossover study of 28 patients during 1,876 dialysis sessions. There was a slightly higher number of dialysis sessions with clot formation in the 5% citrate group; entirely attributable to the formation of small clots. There was no statistically significant difference in the formation of large clots, complete obstruction of the catheter or the need for urokinase between the 2 study groups. In view of the ongoing debate on the safety of high-concentration citrate catheter locks, we conclude that a 5% citrate lock is equally efficient in preventing catheter dysfunction compared with a 10% citrate lock and is therefore the preferred citrate catheter-locking solution.