Indexed on: 16 Mar '11Published on: 16 Mar '11Published in: The journal of vascular access
Exhaustion of upper extremity dialysis access options is becoming more prevalent due to the longer survival of this patient population. In addition, central venous occlusive disease (CVOD) increases the risk of losing access viability in the ipsilateral extremity.We describe a novel technique of lower extremity arteriovenous graft (AVG) placement in which the external iliac artery and vein are utilized, as illustrated in 2 selected cases.Two dialysis patients presented with exhausted upper extremity access options and bilateral intrathoracic CVOD. In patient 1, a venogram demonstrated complete occlusion of the left common iliac vein and severe stenosis of the right common femoral vein, rendering these unsuitable for access creation. In patient 2, with a history of peripheral arterial disease, an arteriogram revealed that the common and superficial femoral arteries were inadequate for access creation bilaterally. A retroperitoneal approach was utilized for a right external iliac artery and vein arteriovenous graft tunneled under the inguinal ligament to the anterior thigh.Adequate thrill and uneventful postoperative course were observed in both cases. At 10 months, patient 1 has done well on hemodialysis without the need for further intervention. Patient 2 has only recently had the procedure and is not yet using her graft.As the number of patients requiring lower extremity vascular access increases, new surgical techniques will become available to handle the clinical and anatomic challenges encountered in this population.