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Am J Kidney Dis. 2002 Dec;40(6):1255-63.

Association between vascular access failure and the use of specific drugs: the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS).

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University Renal Research and Education Association, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



Several drugs have been proposed to improve vascular access patency based on favorable anticoagulant, antiplatelet, or vascular-remodeling properties. However, there is little evidence to guide drug strategies.


The association between vascular access patency and the use of specific drugs was studied in a large sample of US hemodialysis patients enrolled in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study, an international, prospective, observational study. In general, it was assumed that the drugs were prescribed for indications unrelated to vascular access preservation. Primary (unassisted survival) and secondary vascular access patency (assisted survival) were modeled using Cox regression (time to failure) adjusted for age, sex, race, body mass index, incidence to end-stage renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, valvular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, aortic aneurysm, deep-vein thrombosis, number of previous permanent accesses, and facility-clustering effects. Fistulae (n = 900) and grafts (n = 1,944) were evaluated separately. Technical failures within the first 30 days of surgical placement were excluded from the analysis.


Treatment with calcium channel blockers was associated with improved primary graft patency (relative risk [RR] for failure, 0.86; P = 0.034). Aspirin therapy was associated with better secondary graft patency (RR, 0.70; P < 0.001). Treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors was associated with significantly better secondary fistula patency (RR, 0.56; P = 0.010). Patients administered warfarin showed worse primary graft patency (RR, 1.33; P = 0.037).


These findings should help guide clinical trial priorities toward vascular access preservation using one or more of the agents that show significant risk reduction for access failure in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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