Background: The purpose of this report was to analyze the results obtained from a group of interventional nephrologists working in multiple centers performing basic procedures that are used routinely in the management of vascular access problems, with an effort toward establishing standards for evaluating success, complication rates, and acceptable times for procedure duration and fluoroscopy.
Methods: Data on six basic procedures were analyzed-angioplasty of arteriovenous fistulas (AVF-PTA), angioplasty of synthetic grafts (graft-PTA), thrombectomy of arteriovenous fistulas (AVF declot), thrombectomy of synthetic grafts (graft declot), placement of tunneled dialysis catheters (TDC placement), and tunneled dialysis catheter exchange (TDC exchange). These data were examined both as a group and by individual physician operator. RESULTS. A total of 14,067 cases were performed under the six categories of procedure that were the subject of this report; 13,503 cases (96.18%) were successful. The overall complication rate for the combined group of procedures was 3.54%, with 3.26% falling within the minor category and 0.28% within the major. The number of cases performed in each individual category with success rates for each were as follows: TDC placement-1765 cases, 98.24% successful; TDC exchange-2262 cases, 98.36% successful, AVF-PTA-1561 cases, 96.58% successful; graft-PTA-3560 cases, 98.06% successful; AVF declot-228 cases, 78.10% successful; graft declot-4671 cases, 93.08% successful.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that appropriately trained interventional nephrologists can perform these basic procedures in both a safe and effective manner.