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Expert Rev Med Devices. 2013 Mar;10(2):171-5. doi: 10.1586/erd.12.85.

Biological vascular grafts for hemodialysis access.

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Renal Transplant and Vascular Access Department, St George's Healthcare NHS Trust, Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0QT, UK.


Alternatives to autogenous arteriovenous hemodialysis (HD) access, such as synthetic arteriovenous bypass grafts and central venous catheters, are associated with a higher rate of complications. The evaluated article assessed the repeated cannulation challenges of HD in tissue-engineered blood vessels implanted in a bovine in vivo model (n = 15). Two groups were studied. A short-term group in which the graft was explanted and histologically examined (n = 7) and a second group in which the graft was left in for 6 months or until outflow venous stenosis occurred (n = 8). Two grafts from each group occluded 1-month postoperatively. Of the 11 remaining, cannulation was well tolerated with adequate hemostasis. Histological analysis demonstrated host cell repopulation of the outer surface in the short-term group (n = 5) and stable wall geometry in the long-term group. The authors concluded that their study proves the concept of using a scaffold-based approach to tissue-engineered blood vessels for HD access.

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