An algorithm for the physical examination of early fistula failure

Semin Dial. Jul-Aug 2005;18(4):331-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2005.18314.x.


Evaluation of a newly created fistula 4-6 weeks after surgery should be considered mandatory. If the fistula is going to become adequate for dialysis, it will be apparent at this time. This evaluation can be accomplished by physical examination. However, it must be performed by someone who is knowledgeable. Using a systematic approach facilitates the evaluation and ensures that a problem is not overlooked. Once it is determined that the fistula is dysfunctional, the case should be immediately referred for management to an interventionalist who is experienced in dealing with early fistula failure. The majority of these cases can be salvaged.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Angiography
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical*
  • Humans
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Treatment Failure