A Multicenter Analysis of Revision of Aneurysmal Dialysis Access Using Bovine Carotid Artery Conduit

Ann Vasc Surg. 2023 Nov:97:399-404. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2023.05.030. Epub 2023 May 27.


Background: Dialysis access complications and failure requiring revision are common. Understanding which methods of revision yield the optimal patency rates and lowest complications remain in evolution. Revision of native vessels is preferred, with revision using expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) graft as an alternative. Revision with Bovine Carotid Artery Graft (Artegraft) has historically been indicated when other options have been exhausted. While earlier studies demonstrated lower patency and higher infection rates compared to ePTFE, more recent studies have suggested otherwise. We describe our experience with patients who underwent arteriovenous access revision with Artegraft, and present this as a viable alternative.

Methods: A multicenter analysis was conducted over 6 years of 25 patients with arteriovenous access complications requiring revision. Complications included aneurysmal degeneration, bleeding, recurrent thrombosis, and sclerotic outflow. Patients were grouped into 2 groups based on the complication. The first group included aneurysm-only complication and the second group included aneurysm and all other complications. All patients underwent revision of their arteriovenous fistula with excision of diseased segment of the arteriovenous fistula and interposition placement of Artegraft. All patients were followed long term and assessed for postop complications, patency, and any reintervention.

Results: Of 25 patients, 13 were male and 12 female. Average age was 57 (range 27-83). Sixteen of the 25 patients had follow-up. Of the 16, 10 patients had primary patency (62.5%), 3 with primary-assisted patency (18.75%), and 3 with failure of grafts (18.75%). Ten of the 16 had at least 1 year or greater follow-up (5 with primary patency, 3 primary-assisted patency, and 2 with failure both of which failed after 1 year). Those that required intervention to maintain patency were from thrombosis requiring declot or anastomotic stenosis requiring angioplasty. None of the followed patients were found to have neither postoperative surgical site nor graft infections.

Conclusions: This case series supports that arteriovenous access revision with Artegraft is a viable option that has acceptable patency rates (81% overall functional patency rate at 1.5 years), with an observed 0% infection rate, and is comparable to ePTFE. With more recent studies suggesting Artegraft may have superior outcomes, further study and consideration should be given to using Artegraft as a conduit for arteriovenous fistula revision.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm* / etiology
  • Aneurysm* / surgery
  • Animals
  • Arteriovenous Fistula* / etiology
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical* / adverse effects
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical* / methods
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis / adverse effects
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / surgery
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / diagnostic imaging
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / etiology
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombosis* / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency