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J Vasc Access. 2011 Oct-Dec;12(4):354-7. doi: 10.5301/JVA.2011.8384.

Great saphenous vein transposition to the forearm for dialysis vascular access; an under used autologous option?

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Academic Vascular Surgery Unit, Hull and York Medical School, Yorkshire, UK.



The recommended site for the next autologous vascular access in patients without suitable cephalic vein for fistula formation is basilic vein transposition. This study aims to compare outcomes from great saphenous vein transpositions to the forearm with that of basilic vein transposition. Comparison is reported in terms of primary and secondary patency, intervention, and complication rates in our unit.


A retrospective search of a prospectively maintained vascular database identified 24 consecutive patients undergoing great saphenous vein transposition (GSVT) and 34 consecutive patients having basilic vein transposition (BVT) were included for comparison. Primary and secondary patency details were obtained from hospital case notes and dialysis unit review records. Patency was studied using a Kaplan Meier analysis and compared using log rank testing.


No significant difference was identified in primary or secondary patency between the procedures (P=0.745). Primary patency at 6, 12 and 24 months: for GSVT this was 62%, 41%, and 20%; for BVT this was 44%, 32%, and 15% respectively. Secondary patency at 6, 12, and 24 months; for GSVT this was 75%, 50%, and 41%; for BVT this was 65% respectively. Requirements for intervention were similar between groups. Complications were more common in the BVT group.


Acceptable patency rates can be achieved using GSVT, thus adding another autologous option for upper limb dialysis access. Our results would suggest GSVT could be performed prior to BVT as the basilic vein may benefit from prior partial arterialization and can subsequently be used if GSVT fails.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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