Efficacy and safety of secondary procedures for maintaining arteriovenous hemodialysis access patency: protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Syst Rev. 2020 Aug 21;9(1):193. doi: 10.1186/s13643-020-01435-1.


Background: Arteriovenous (AV) hemodialysis access creation is recommended by international guidelines as the preferred method of hemodialysis access. However, most AV access sites will require revision to maintain patency. Although several treatment options exist, many have not been directly compared. We intend to compare the relative effectiveness of methods to maintain post-intervention primary patency of failing AV access.

Methods: We will search EMBASE, MEDLINE, CENTRAL, trial registries, the grey literature, and ancestry and citation search from January 1977 to present, for randomized controlled trials comparing interventions to maintain primary patency of AV access. Two investigators will independently and blindly review all identified citations and extract data from included studies. The primary outcome is the primary patency 6 months after intervention. Secondary outcomes include immediate technical and functional success, reinterventions, patency, and mortality. Risk of bias, subgroup analyses, and sensitivity analyses are planned.

Discussion: There are a number of treatment modalities for the management of failing AV access. However, most modalities have only been directly compared with plain old balloon angioplasty, and currently synthesized evidence focuses on individual pairwise comparisons. In light of the lack of comprehensively synthesized evidence and clinical equipoise, our study intends to synthesize currently available evidence though it is unclear which treatment modality is most effective.

Systematic review registration: PROSPERO ID CRD42020148224.

Keywords: Angioplasty; Arteriovenous; Hemodialysis access; Patency; Stent.

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical*
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency