Background: The traditional repair of hemodialysis graft pseudoaneurysms has been to surgically replace that segment of involved PTFE graft material or autogenous vein. We report a novel approach to these lesions, employing a covered stent (Wallgraft) for exclusion of arteriovenous graft (AVG) and arteriovenous fistula (AVF) pseudoaneurysms.
Methods: Ten patients with AVG or AVF pseudoaneurysms were treated endoluminally by covered stent exclusion. Wallgraft implantations were performed in the operating room with interventional capabilities under local anesthesia through a percutaneous access. Follow-up included physical examination at 2 weeks and duplex ultrasound of AVG/ AVF at 6 months after surgery.
Results: Ten patients with pseudoaneurysmal degeneration of their AVG/AVF were identified. The mean diameter of the pseudoaneurysmal segment was 3 cm (range, 1.5-5 cm). Immediately following covered stent implantation all the patients had palpable pulses in the pseudoaneurysms despite adequate coverage by angiography. At the 2-week follow-up visit all had lost the palpable pseudoaneurysm pulsation while the AVGs remained functional in nine patients. One patient had early thrombosis of the AVG. The follow-up duplex scans at 6 months showed complete exclusion of the pseudoaneurysms in seven patients. Two patients had thrombosis of their dialysis access, at 3 weeks (n = 1) and 3 months (n = 1) post-implantation.
Conclusion: Endovascular covered stent exclusion of AV dialysis access pseudoaneurysms is safe and technically feasible in eliminating flow through dialysis access pseudoaneurysms and represents a novel and simple approach to this common problem, prolonging the functional life of the access site.