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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Mar;6(3):575-81. doi: 10.2215/CJN.06630810. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Decreased cumulative access survival in arteriovenous fistulas requiring interventions to promote maturation.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0585, USA. timmy.lee@uc.edu



New arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) are frequently unsuitable for hemodialysis because of AVF nonmaturation. Aggressive endovascular or surgical interventions are often undertaken to salvage nonmaturing AVFs. The effect of early interventions to promote AVF maturation on subsequent long-term AVF outcomes is unknown.


We evaluated 173 hemodialysis patients from two academic centers who received a new AVF. Of these, 96 (56%) required no further intervention, 54 (31%) required one intervention, and 23 (13%) required two or more interventions to achieve suitability for dialysis. We calculated AVF survival and frequency of postmaturation interventions in each group.


Cumulative AVF survival (access cannulation to permanent failure) in patients with two or more versus one versus zero interventions before maturation was 68% versus 78% versus 92% at 1 year, 57% versus 71% versus 85% at 2 years, and 42% versus 57% versus 75% at 3 years. Using Cox regression analysis with interventions before maturation, age, sex, race, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, access site, and obesity in the model, intervention before maturation (two or more) was the only factor associated with cumulative AVF survival. The number of interventions required to maintain patency after maturation was 3.51 ± 2.20 versus 1.37 ± 0.31 versus 0.76 ± 0.10 per year in patients with two or more versus one versus zero interventions before maturation.


Compared with AVF that mature without interventions, AVF that require interventions have decreased cumulative survival and require more interventions to maintain their patency for hemodialysis.

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  • Fistulas first--but can they last? [Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011]
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