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J Vasc Surg. 1994 Dec;20(6):896-902; discussion 903-4.

Comparison of basilic vein and polytetrafluoroethylene for brachial arteriovenous fistula.

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Department of Surgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence.



The aim of this study was to compare patency and complication rates between basilic vein and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) for brachial arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) for long-term hemodialysis.


All basilic vein and PTFE brachial AVF constructed between March 1988 and April 1993 were retrospectively reviewed. After construction of life-tables, log-rank testing was used to compare the primary patency rate of basilic vein AVF (n = 59) with the primary and secondary patency rates of PTFE AVF (n = 47). Complication rates were calculated for each type of fistula and compared by use of chi-squared testing.


The primary patency rate for basilic vein AVF (90%) was superior to that of PTFE AVF (70%) at 1 year (p < 0.01), and at 2 years (86% vs 49%, p < 0.001). Complications occurred two and a half times more frequently in the PTFE group than in the basilic vein group (p < 0.05).


Basilic vein AVF provided superior patency rates and lower complication rates compared with PTFE AVF. Prospective randomized trials comparing the two fistula types is required to firmly establish the basilic vein AVF as the alternative access procedure of choice after a failed or unconstructable radiocephalic fistula.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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