Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007 Nov;2(6):1191-4. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Accuracy of physical examination in the detection of arteriovenous fistula stenosis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1600 NW 10th Avenue (R 7168), Miami, FL 33136, USA.



Physical examination has been highlighted to detect vascular access stenosis; however, its accuracy in the identification of stenoses when compared with the gold standard (angiography) has not been validated in a systematic manner.


A prospective study was conducted of 142 consecutive patients who were referred for an arteriovenous fistula dysfunction to examine the accuracy of physical examination in the detection of stenotic lesions when compared with angiography. The findings of a preprocedure physical examination and diagnosis were recorded and secured in a sealed envelope. Angiography from the feeding artery to the right atrium was then performed. The images were reviewed by an independent interventionalist who had expertise in endovascular dialysis access procedures and was blinded to the physical examination, and the diagnosis was rendered. Cohen's kappa was used as a measurement of the level of agreement beyond chance between the diagnosis made by physical examination and angiography.


There was strong agreement between physical examination and angiography in the diagnosis of outflow (agreement 89.4%, kappa = 0.78) and inflow stenosis (agreement 79.6%, kappa = 0.55). The sensitivity and specificity for the outflow and inflow stenosis were 92 and 86% and 85 and 71%, respectively. There was strong agreement beyond chance regarding the diagnosis of coexisting inflow-outflow lesions between physical examination and angiography (agreement 79%, kappa = 0.54).


The findings of this study demonstrate that physical examination can accurately detect and localize stenoses in a great majority of arteriovenous fistulas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk