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Comparative Study
, 47 (1), 144-50

Radiocephalic and Brachiocephalic Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes in the Elderly

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Comparative Study

Radiocephalic and Brachiocephalic Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes in the Elderly

Andy R Weale et al. J Vasc Surg.

Abstract

Background: A recent meta-analysis has suggested that patients aged >65 have worse outcomes with radiocephalic arteriovenous fistulas (RCAVFs) compared with brachiocephalic arteriovenous fistulas (BCAVFs). We hypothesized that outcomes in patients aged > or = 80--a rapidly expanding cohort within this elderly group--might be skewing the results, and that age >65 may not be a contraindication to RCAVF formation. This study examined the effect of age group (<65, 65 to 79, >or =80) on functional outcomes (use; primary and secondary functional patency) in RCVAFs and BCAVFs.

Methods: We identified the outcomes of all patients undergoing a first surgical access procedure for a RCAVF or BCVAF between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2005. We examined the effect of age and other factors including sex, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, late referral (<3 months before dialysis), dialysis before surgical access, preoperative duplex ultrasound imaging, and ethnicity on non-AVF use and primary and secondary functional AVF patency. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used.

Results: From a total of 658 patients, 361 had a RCAVF, and 297 had a BCAVF. Their median age was 68.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 54.4 to 76.5 years), and 288 (43.8%) were aged <65 years, 274 (41.6%) were 65 to 79, and 96 (14.6%) were > or =80. Age did not influence the site of the first surgical access (P = .874). Only 85.7% of patients actually progressed to hemodialysis, and the RCAVF or BCAVF in 45.7% of those was never used for dialysis. Female sex (hazard ratio [HR], 2.24; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.387 to 3.643; P = .001) was the only factor associated with an increase risk of RCAVF nonuse, whereas diabetes (HR, 2.095; 95% CI, 1.261 to 3.482; P = .004) was the only factor associated with an increase risk of BCAVF nonuse. The respective primary patency rates at 1 and 2 years for RCAVFs were 46.0% and 27.1% for patients <65, 47.0% and 36.0% for those 65 to 79, and 45.7% and 38.1% for those >or =80. Only female sex (HR, 1.679; 95% CI, 1.261 to 2.236; P = .001) and prior hemodialysis (HR, 1.363; 95% CI, 1.0.29 to 1.804; P = .031) were associated with loss of patency of RCAVFs. The primary functional patency rates for BCAVFs at 1 and 2 years were 39.3% and 31.0% for those <65 years; 53.30% and 37.5% for those 65 to 79, and 46.3% and 42.6% for those >or =80. No factors analyzed were associated with loss of primary functional patency of BCAVFs.

Conclusions: Age did not affect usability, primary or secondary patency of either RCAVFs or BCAVFs. Although patient selection is important, even patients > or =80 years who are considered suitable for surgical placement of access should not be denied a RCAVF solely because of age.

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