Hemodialysis access failure: a call to action

Kidney Int. 1998 Oct;54(4):1029-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.1998.00122.x.


Recent evidence suggests that the cost as well as the morbidity associated with the maintenance of hemodialysis access is increasing rapidly; currently, the cost exceeds 1 billion dollars and access related hospitalization accounts for 25% of all hospital admissions in the U.S.A. This increase in cost and morbidity has been associated with several epidemiological trends that may contribute to access failure. These include late patient referral to nephrologists and surgeons, late planning of vascular access as well as a shift from A-V fistulaes to PTFE grafts and temporary catheters, which have a higher failure rate. The reasons for this shift in the types of access is multifactorial and is not explained by changes in the co-morbidities of patients presenting to dialysis. Surgical preference and training also appear to play an important role in the large regional variation and patency rate of these PTFE grafts. We propose a program for early placement of A-V fistulae, a continuous quality improvement, multidisciplinary program to monitor access outcome, the development of new biomaterials, and a research plan to investigate pharmacological intervention to reduce development of stenosis and clinical interventions to treat those that do develop, prior to thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / economics
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / methods
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / prevention & control
  • Materials Testing
  • Morbidity
  • Nephrology
  • Physician's Role
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / therapy
  • United States
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures


  • Polytetrafluoroethylene