Utility of a tubularized extracellular matrix as an alternative conduit for arteriovenous fistula aneurysm repair

J Vasc Surg. 2016 Feb;63(2):446-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2015.08.105. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


Objective: The treatment of segmental arteriovenous fistula aneurysms (AVFAs) remains a challenge in dialysis access preservation. We examined our experience with the use of tubularized extracellular matrix (ECM; CorMatrix, Roswell, Ga) for AVFA repair.

Methods: Between October 2013 and January 2015, we conducted a prospective study of CorMatrix ECM for AVFA repair. All patients underwent intraoperative fistulography. Patients with central venous stenosis or occlusion had simultaneous angioplasty and stenting as indicated. The aneurysm and overlying skin were then resected, and an ECM patch was fashioned into a tube for interposition repair. Patients with multiple AVFAs underwent staged repair. Cannulation of the repaired segments was allowed after 6 weeks.

Results: During the study period, 15 patients (40% male; mean age, 49.5 years) underwent 18 AVFA repairs using ECM (3 staged repairs). Six patients (40%) underwent simultaneous treatment of central vein lesions, whereas eight patients (53%) had associated skin erosion. Treated sites included radiocephalic (2), brachiobasilic (1), and brachiocephalic (15) AVFAs. All patients had hemodialysis at an alternative location on the same extremity without the need for catheter placement. Five patients underwent a follow-up ultrasound examination at a mean of 6 weeks. All studies demonstrated patency of the ECM segments without stenosis. At a mean follow-up time of 6.9 months, two thrombosis events were observed, both in patients with known refractory central venous stenosis treated with previous angioplasty (2) and stenting (1). Both patients required new access placement. No complications were attributable to ECM sites.

Conclusions: ECM is an alternative conduit for salvage of an autologous AVFA. This technique may help avoid the use of prosthetic grafts and hemodialysis catheters. Patients with associated central venous stenosis are at risk of thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Aneurysm / etiology
  • Aneurysm / physiopathology
  • Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Bioprosthesis*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / adverse effects
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / instrumentation*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Extracellular Matrix / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Upper Extremity / blood supply*
  • Vascular Patency