Objective: The primary end points of this study were safety and efficacy of early cannulation of the Flixene graft (Maquet-Atrium Medical, Hudson, NH). Secondary end points were complications and patency.
Methods: This is a prospective single-center nonrandomized study. Study data included patient characteristics; history of vascular access; operative technique; interval between implantation and initial cannulation; complications; and patency at 1 month, 3 months, and every 6 months. Patency rates were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Between January 2011 and September 2013, a total of 46 Flixene grafts were implanted in 44 patients (27 men) with a mean age of 63 years. The implantation site was the upper arm in 67% of cases, the forearm in 11%, and the thigh in 22%. Seven grafts were never cannulated during the study period. Of the remaining 39 grafts, 32 (82%) were successfully cannulated within the first week after implantation, including 16 (41%) on the first day. The median interval from implantation to initial cannulation was 2 days (interquartile range, 1-3 days). The median follow-up was 223.5 days (interquartile range, 97-600 days). Five hematomas occurred, but only one required surgical revision. Primary assisted and secondary patency rates were 65% and 86%, respectively, at 6 months and 56% and 86%, respectively, at 1 year.
Conclusions: This study suggests that cannulation of the Flixene graft within 1 week after implantation is safe and effective. Early cannulation avoids or shortens the need for a temporary catheter. One-year patency rates appeared to be comparable to those achieved with conventional grafts, but long-term follow-up and randomized controlled studies will be needed to confirm this finding.
Copyright © 2015 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.