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      Access Blood Flow as a Predictor of Early Failures of Native Arteriovenous Fistulas in Hemodialysis Patients

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          Blood flow imaging using color doppler has proven effective in predicting graft failures in hemodialysis patients, but its effect on native arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) is not well known. This study was performed to investigate whether measurements of the access blood flow can be used as predictors of an early failure of a native AVF in hemodialysis patients. Fifty-three consecutive patients who received native AVF operations were included in this study. Access blood flow was measured at 1 week after operations, and AVF function was followed for 4 months. During the follow-up, access failures developed in 10 patients at 9.8 ± 3.5 weeks. AVF blood flow was significantly lower in the failure group (n = 10) than in the patent group (n = 43) (450 ± 214 vs. 814 ± 348 ml/min, p = 0.003). The incidence of access failures was higher in the patients with a flow <350 ml/min (n = 9) compared to the patients with a flow >350 ml/min (n = 44) (55.5 vs. 11.3%, p = 0.008). The diameters of veins were significantly smaller in the failure group than in the patent group (3.5 ± 0.5 vs. 4.1 ± 0.7 mm, p = 0.018). The incidence of diabetes mellitus was higher in the failure group than in the patent group (90 vs. 51%, p = 0.025). However, age, sex, duration from an operation to first cannulation, and different AVF sites did not make a significant difference between the two groups. Our data suggest that access blood flow measurements using color doppler ultrasound during early postoperative periods are useful parameters in predicting an early failure of a native AVF in hemodialysis patients.

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          Predicting Hemodialysis Access Failure with Color Flow Doppler Ultrasound

          Color flow doppler ultrasound examination of the hemodialysis access was conducted in 2,792 hemodialysis patients to evaluate its value in predicting hemodialysis access failure. After baseline assessment of vascular access function with clinical and laboratory tests including color flow doppler evaluation these patients were followed for a minimal of 6 months or until graft failure occurred (defined as surgery or angioplasty intervention, or graft loss). The patient demographics and vascular accesses were typical of a standard hemodialysis patient population. On the day of the color flow doppler examination systolic and diastolic blood pressure, hematocrit, urea reduction ratio, dialysis blood flow, venous line pressure at a dialysis blood flow of 250 ml/min, and access recirculation rate were measured. At the conclusion of the study 23.5% of the patients had access failure. Case mix predictors for access failure were determined using the Cox Model. Case mix predictors of access failure were race, non-white was higher than white (p < 0.005), younger accesses had a higher risk than older accesses (p < 0.025), accesses with prior thrombosis had a higher risk of failure (p = 0.042), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts had a higher risk than native vein fistulae (p < 0.05), loop PTFE grafts had a higher risk than straight PTFE grafts (p < 0.025), and upper arm accesses had a higher risk than forearm accesses (p = 0.033). Most significant, however, was decreased access blood flow as measured by color flow doppler (p < 0.0001). The relative risk of graft failure increased 40% when the blood flow in the graft decreased to less than 500 ml/min and the relative risk doubled when the blood flow was less than 300 ml/min. This study has shown that color flow doppler evaluation, quantifying blood flow in a prosthetic graft, can identify those grafts at risk for failure. In contrast, color doppler volume flow in native AV fistulae could not predict fistula survival. This technique is noninvasive, painless, portable, and reproducible. We believe that preemptory repair of an anatomical abnormality in vascular access grafts with decreased blood flow may decrease patient inconvenience, associated morbidity, and associated costs.

            Author and article information

            Am J Nephrol
            American Journal of Nephrology
            S. Karger AG
            June 2001
            25 June 2001
            : 21
            : 3
            : 221-225
            Departments of aInternal Medicine, bRadiology, and cSurgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
            46251 Am J Nephrol 2001;21:221–225
            © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Page count
            Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 14, Pages: 5
            Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/46251
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