Failure of dialysis access: revise or replace?

Research paper by T E TE Brothers, M M Morgan, J G JG Robison, B M BM Elliott, P P Baliga, J B JB Cofer, P R PR Rajagopolan, C T CT Fitts

Indexed on: 01 Feb '96Published on: 01 Feb '96Published in: Journal of Surgical Research


Providing adequate long-term dialysis access has become increasingly difficult. In order to evaluate the operative factors associated with early failure of dialysis access, 2337 operations performed in 1124 patients over an 8-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Evaluation of 1306 procedures that eventually failed and required operative revision or repair provided the basis for this study. Access failure occurred in 459 (41%) of the 1124 patients. An average of 2.8 episodes of failure (range 1-13) were observed among this group of patients, occurring after an average of 230 +/- 9 days (mean +/- ++standard error) postoperatively, with the longest interval to failure being 2529 days. The time-to-failure for revision of a preexistent arteriovenous fistula or prosthetic graft (140 +/- 9 days, n = 449) was significantly (P < 0.0001 ANOVA) shorter than for creation of an arteriovenous fistula (272 +/- 21 days, n = 336) or prosthetic graft (299 +/- 19 days, n = 372) at a new site. Procedures performed in octogenarians tended to fail earlier (178 days). Dialysis access failure tends to recur in patients with a history of previous access problems. The time-to-failure was similar for new prosthetic grafts and arteriovenous fistulas, but twice as long compared to revision of a previous access site.