Brachial artery aneurysm as a late complication of arteriovenous fistula

J Vasc Access. 2023 Sep;24(5):926-932. doi: 10.1177/11297298211059326. Epub 2021 Nov 17.


Introduction: Brachial artery aneurysm (BAA) is a rare late complication of arteriovenous fistula (AVF). It brings the risk of peripheral embolism and hand ischemia and is defined by brachial artery diameter above 10 mm or by regional dilatation by >50%. BAA is described in the literature in closed radiocephalic arteriovenous fistulas after kidney transplantation. The aim of the study was to analyze the prevalence of BAA and of their more dangerous forms.

Method: A observational one center study performed on patients after kidney transplantation with AVF or arteriovenous graft (AVG). We invited all patients followed up for kidney transplantation in our center. Arterial diameter greater than 10 mm was considered as a brachial artery aneurysm to simplify the detection and evaluation of aneurysms.

Results: About 162 patients with AVF after kidney transplantation were examined between 4/2018 and 4/2020. Brachial artery aneurysm was detected in 34 patients (21%) with AVF or AVG, of them 7 had confirmed wall thrombi. AVF flow volume of more than 1500 ml/min increased the risk of BAA development by 4.54x. Eight aneurysms were treated surgically. After this surgery, the primary patency was 87.5% in 12 months.

Conclusion: Brachial artery aneurysm was relatively frequent in our study compare to the literature. Aneurysm or dilatation of the brachial artery is more frequent in functional AVFs. Surgical correction is necessary in cases of complicated aneurysms to prevent distal embolization.

Keywords: Brachial artery aneurysm; inflow artery dilatation; late complication of arteriovenous fistula.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm* / etiology
  • Arteriovenous Fistula* / complications
  • Brachial Artery / surgery
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency