Background: Nowadays, as a result of more liberal selection criteria, dialysis-dependent patients have become substantially older, more likely to be female and diabetic, and have more comorbidity. The 1-year primary patency rates of arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are poor. To improve these results, several secondary interventions can be performed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the results after secondary interventions in patients with an upper extremity AVF. Methods: Between January 2000 and December 2008, all consecutive patients who underwent construction of an autologous upper extremity AVF were included. Patient characteristics were collected retrospectively from digital patient files and a prospectively recorded database on hemodialysis patients. Results: Between January 2000 and December 2008, 736 hemodialysis access procedures were performed. A total of 347 autologous arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) were created in 294 patients. The mean age was 62.1 ± 14.7 years, and the majority (66%) of the patients was male. Mean follow-up of all 347 fistulas was 21.9 ± 21.6 months. During follow-up, failure occurred in 209 (60%) of the AVFs. A total of 133 of these failures were followed by a secondary intervention, of which 78 (59%) were endovascular interventions. Twenty-nine patients developed a third failure, and 25 of these patients underwent another intervention, of which 22 were percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for stenosis. Fifteen patients developed a fourth failure, and all of them underwent an intervention. One patient had 11 interventions. The 1- and 2-year primary patency rates were 46% and 36.8%, respectively. The 1- and 2-year primary assisted patency rates were 74.6% and 71.2%, respectively. The 1- and 2-year secondary patency rates were 79.2% and 77.8%, respectively. Conclusion: The primary patency rate of AVFs is disappointing. However, due to mostly endovascular secondary interventions, 2-year primary assisted and secondary patency rates of more than 70% can be obtained.,
Journal of Vascular Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Ayez, N., Fioole, B., Aarts, R., van den Dorpel, M., Akkersdijk, G., Dinkelman, M., & de Smet, A. (2011). Secondary interventions in patients with autologous arteriovenous fistulas strongly improve patency rates. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 54(4), 1095–1099. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2011.04.023