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J Surg Res. 2002 Jul;106(1):15-9.

Covered stent exclusion of dialysis access pseudoaneurysms.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, Joseph B. Whitehead Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine and Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.



The traditional repair of hemodialysis graft pseudoaneurysms has been to surgically replace that segment of involved PTFE graft material or autogenous vein. We report a novel approach to these lesions, employing a covered stent (Wallgraft) for exclusion of arteriovenous graft (AVG) and arteriovenous fistula (AVF) pseudoaneurysms.


Ten patients with AVG or AVF pseudoaneurysms were treated endoluminally by covered stent exclusion. Wallgraft implantations were performed in the operating room with interventional capabilities under local anesthesia through a percutaneous access. Follow-up included physical examination at 2 weeks and duplex ultrasound of AVG/ AVF at 6 months after surgery.


Ten patients with pseudoaneurysmal degeneration of their AVG/AVF were identified. The mean diameter of the pseudoaneurysmal segment was 3 cm (range, 1.5-5 cm). Immediately following covered stent implantation all the patients had palpable pulses in the pseudoaneurysms despite adequate coverage by angiography. At the 2-week follow-up visit all had lost the palpable pseudoaneurysm pulsation while the AVGs remained functional in nine patients. One patient had early thrombosis of the AVG. The follow-up duplex scans at 6 months showed complete exclusion of the pseudoaneurysms in seven patients. Two patients had thrombosis of their dialysis access, at 3 weeks (n = 1) and 3 months (n = 1) post-implantation.


Endovascular covered stent exclusion of AV dialysis access pseudoaneurysms is safe and technically feasible in eliminating flow through dialysis access pseudoaneurysms and represents a novel and simple approach to this common problem, prolonging the functional life of the access site.

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