Purpose: To establish a standardized approach for the maturation of non-maturing arteriovenous fistulae.
Methods: Consecutive patients (n=122) with non-maturing fistulae presented to our outpatient vascular access center for percutaneous interventions to assist in maturation. The techniques used included flow rerouting, competing branch vein elimination, staged balloon angioplasty, and limited controlled extravasation.
Results: Successful fistula maturations were achieved in 118/122 patients. Fistulae were divided into two classes according to initial vessel size: class 1 (6.0-8.0 mm diameter, >6 mm deep) and class 2 (2.0-5.0 mm diameter) fistulae were evaluated for differences in technical procedures and clinically successful fistula maturation. Class 1 and class 2 fistulae were evaluated for mean number of procedures to maturation (1.6 and 2.6, respectively), and time to maturation (5 and 7 weeks, respectively). Follow-up for 109 of the initial 118 patients was achieved (mean=24 months, range=0.25-60 months). Class 1 and class 2 fistulae had primary patencies of 17 and 39% at 6 months; and secondary patencies of 72 and 77% at 12 months, 53 and 61% at 24 months, and 42 and 32% at 36 months, respectively. Primary and secondary patencies (Mann-Whitney test, p=0.44 and p=0.38, respectively) of class 1 and class 2 fistulae did not differ significantly, and secondary patencies were comparable to other fistula salvage studies.
Conclusion: Fistula salvage attempts should not be limited by factors such as a diffusely small diameter or an inaccessibly deep position.