Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA)-induced venous rupture is a common complication of hemodialysis access interventions. The authors sought to determine if venous rupture rates and management differed between grafts and fistulas, and in the fistula subset, between transposed and nontransposed fistulas.
Patients experiencing venous rupture during hemodialysis PTA over a 5-year period were identified. Of 1,985 hemodialysis interventions, 75 ruptures occurred in 69 patients (46 women) with a mean age of 63 years (range, 31-88 y). Rupture rates, proportion of successful treatments, and treatment type and number (ie, balloon tamponade, stent, covered stent) were determined.
Rupture was more common in fistulas overall (5.6%, 39 of 693) compared with grafts (2.8%, 36 of 1,292; P = .002), in transposed (10.7%, 20 of 187) compared with nontransposed fistulas (3.8%, 19 of 506; P = .001), and in transposed fistulas compared with grafts (P = .0001). There was no significant difference between nontransposed fistulas and grafts. Treatment success (ie, resolution of extravasation) was the same among groups: 69% (27 of 39) in fistulas overall, 70% (14 of 20) in transposed fistulas, 68% (13 of 19) in nontransposed fistulas, and 72% (26 of 36) in grafts. There was a greater need for stents in grafts (38.9%, 14 of 36) compared with fistulas (12.8%, five of 39; P = .003).
PTA-induced rupture is more common in fistulas than grafts, and this effect seems nearly entirely driven by transposed fistulas. Although rupture treatment in fistulas of all types yielded similar success to grafts, and graft ruptures were more difficult to treat than fistula ruptures, the high rupture rates in transposed fistulas attest to the increased difficulty of treating this subset of fistulas.