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J Vasc Access. 2009 Jan-Mar;10(1):37-42.

Pre-operative vessel mapping and early post-operative surveillance duplex scanning of arteriovenous fistulae.

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Directorate of Surgery and Renal Services, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK.



To increase the proportion of dialysis patients using native arteriovenous fistulae (AVF), improved selection of the most appropriate procedure must be coupled with early access surveillance to determine which access would likely mature and when intervention might lead to access salvage. This study was aimed at auditing pre-operative vessel mapping and post-operative access surveillance against the primary outcome measure of AVF maturation.


Between January 2006 and August 2007, 113 AVF created in 101 patients were studied. Data on pre-operative vessel mapping, type of AVF, post-operative surveillance scans were analyzed against the outcome AVF.


Pre-operative mapping and post-operative scanning were carried out in 86% and 91%, respectively. A maturing fistula on post-operative scan highly correlated with a satisfactory outcome (p<0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of the post-operative scan were 100% and 85%, respectively. There were 79 brachiocephalic and 34 radiocephalic fistulae with a primary failure rate of 23% and 47%, respectively, giving an overall failure rate of 30%. Nine fistulae had further intervention (angioplasty or thrombolysis) and five (56%) were salvaged. Seventy-two AVF matured satisfactorily giving a primary cumulative patency of 71% (72/102).


This study shows that preoperative vessel mapping provides useful information regarding the choice of AVF. Access surveillance duplex scanning at 6-8 weeks post-operatively is viable and has a high sensitivity and specificity for final outcome of fistula. Identifying AVF with potential problems early means that further intervention or surgery can be planned earlier, which will have a positive impact on patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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