Purpose: To review the author's early experience with stent grafts to repair hemodialysis graft-related pseudoaneurysms.
Materials and methods: Eleven patients had undergone insertion of a stent graft to repair a pseudoaneurysm arising from a PTFE hemodialysis graft. The study group consists of seven women and four men with a mean age of 50.7 years. The primary indications for stent graft placement were: rapid enlargement of a pseudoaneurysm in four patients, difficulty with cannulating the graft in two patients, high risk of acute rupture in three patients, persistent bleeding from the pseudoaneurysm in one patient, and one was incidentally discovered during diagnostic fistulography. In 10 of the 11 patients, the pseudoaneurysm arose from the arterial limb of a loop-configuration graft. A stent graft was successfully deployed in all patients. The radiological and surgical records were reviewed.
Results: The Viabahn endoprosthesis was successfully inserted and deployed in all 11 patients. Six patients underwent subsequent interventions, which ended primary patency at 39 days, 40 days, 63 days, 104 days, 120 days, and 327 days after insertion of the stent graft. However, no additional interventions have been performed in five patients and primary patency continues. In these five patients the interval of continuing primary patency is 55 days, 92 days, 103 days, 139 days, and 196 days. In this small group of patients the primary patency rate is 71% at 3 months and 20% at 6 months.
Discussion: Early experience has demonstrated that a stent graft can successfully exclude a pseudoaneurysm from a hemodialysis graft and may prevent further enlargement and decrease the likelihood of rupture. However, in two of these 11 patients, the large pseudoaneurysm remained problematic and required subsequent surgical repair.