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, 41 (1), 76-81

Use of Short PTFE Segments ( <6 Cm) Compares Favorably With Pure Autologous Repair in Failing or Thrombosed Native Arteriovenous Fistulas


Use of Short PTFE Segments ( <6 Cm) Compares Favorably With Pure Autologous Repair in Failing or Thrombosed Native Arteriovenous Fistulas

George S Georgiadis et al. J Vasc Surg.


Objective: The re-establishment of patency in a stenosed or thrombosed native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is fundamental to regaining adequate hemodialysis through the same cannulable vein. Many surgeons have been reluctant to use even small segments of synthetic grafts in AVF revisions because of a perception that these would lead to poor results; however, studies comparing various treatment options are scarce. This study compared the use of short (<6 cm) polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) segments with pure autologous repair in stenosed or thrombosed native fistulas.

Methods: The cumulative postintervention primary patency rates of two groups of hemodialysis patients receiving different surgical revision operations of their vascular accesses were prospectively compared. Group I (n = 30) comprised patients who presented with stenosed or thrombosed native fistulas and received short (2 to 6 cm) interposition PTFE grafts placed after the stenosed or thrombosed outflow vein segment was resected. These short PTFE grafts were not used for cannulation. Group II (n = 29) comprised patients who presented with dysfunctional or failed AVFs and underwent various types of pure autogenous corrections. AVF dysfunction or thrombosis was detected with clinical examination and color duplex ultrasound scanning. In all cases, on-table arteriography-fistulography was performed before surgical repair. Access adequacy was assessed in all patients postoperatively after the first puncture and every month thereafter (mean follow up 16.7 months).

Results: No statistically significant difference in patency was observed between the two groups. Postintervention cumulative patencies were 100%, 88%, and 82% for group I and 90%, 82%, and 71% for group II at 6, 12, and 18 months, respectively ( P = .8).

Conclusions: Short (<6 cm) interposition PTFE segments used for the revision of failing or failed AVFs compare favorably to purely native repair and do not alter the autologous behavior of the initial access. These short PTFE revisions resulted in satisfactory midterm primary patency without further consumption of the venous capital by harvesting segments of vein from other locations and without compromising more proximal access sites. This practice is recommended and is justified as part of an aggressive access salvage policy addressed by many authors so far.

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