The arteriovenous fistula is currently the best permanent access for the hemodialysis patient. Unfortunately, stenosis impairs maturation, long-term survival, and function of the arteriovenous fistula. Angioplasty currently is the best procedure for the treatment of immature and dysfunctional arteriovenous fistulas. In this review, the authors discuss the optimum time to evaluate arteriovenous fistulas for maturity, methods of evaluation for maturity, and the role of angioplasty in salvaging immature arteriovenous fistulas. The review also discusses the effect of stenosis on dysfunction in mature arteriovenous fistulas and the role of angioplasty to treat this complication. Finally, the impact of cutting balloons and drug-eluting balloons in the treatment of resistant and recurrent stenosis, respectively, is also discussed.
Keywords: Angioplasty; arteriovenous fistulas.