Ultrasonographic diagnosis of stenosis of native arteriovenous fistulas in haemodialysis patients

Med Ultrason. 2016 Sep;18(3):332-8. doi: 10.11152/mu.2013.2066.183.fis.


Aims: Ultrasound (US) examination is an important tool in the diagnosis of arteriovenous (AVF) stenoses; different US measures are available for assessing the severity of stenoses. The aim of our study was to analyse risk factors and consequences of AVF stenosis and its severity and to compare the usefulness of different US measures of stenoses' severity.

Material and methods: Ninety-seven prevalent patients from a single dialysis centre with patent AVF were included. We recorded history of disease, clinical and laboratory data. US was used to diagnosis the stenosis and to measure blood flow in the brachial artery, resistivity index (RI), and the diameter of the vessels (arteries, anastomosis, venous outflow).

Results: Stenosis was present in 54.64% of the patients (59.6% juxtaanastomotic). Stenosis patients had higher age, lower diameter of the brachial artery, lower anastomosis diameter, and lower diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Atherosclerosis, delayed maturation of AVF, and statin treatment were more prominent in the stenosis group. Logistic regression disclosed delayed maturation, cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and DBP as significant predictors of stenosis. When severe stenosis was measured by the diameter reduction, stenosis patients had higher age, lower HDL cholesterol, and poorer dialysis efficacy. Flow in the brachial artery and RI were less useful for identifying risk factors or differences in outcome.

Conclusions: Prevalence of stenosis was high in our cohort, more than half of the patients having some degree of stenosis. Risk factors for stenosis were related to atherosclerosis, low DBP, and delayed maturation of AVF. Diameter of stenosis is the most useful marker of severity.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Constriction, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / instrumentation*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Romania
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography*