The Surgically Created Arteriovenous Fistula: A Forgotten Alternative to Venous Access

Academic Department of Surgery, Section of Vascular Surgery, Greenville Hospital System, 701 Grove Road, Greenville, SC 29605, USA.
Annals of Vascular Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.17). 12/2004; 18(6):635-9. DOI: 10.1007/s10016-004-0104-8
Source: PubMed


The care of patients requiring lifelong intravenous access was revolutionized with the development of tunneled catheters and implantable ports. These devices are not without complications, however, and selected patients may benefit from alternative modalities to maintain access for such therapies as parenteral nutrition, phlebotomy, or chemotherapy. Use of surgically created arteriovenous (AV) fistulae as an alternative to central venous access has been described. This report reviews our experience using AV access for central venous access. An AV access database of more than 800 active patients was reviewed and all patients who had autogenous or synthetic AV fistulae created exclusively for central venous access between July 1, 2001, and December 31, 2003, were identified. Outcomes were assessed. A total of 853 new accesses were placed during the time period. Six fistulae in six patients (0.7%) were placed for central access. All patients (5 males, 1 female, mean age, 42.8 years) required access for intermittent parenteral nutrition or intravenous fluids secondary to short-gut syndrome (n = 5) or gastroparesis (n = 1). All patients had failed at least two prior catheter-based accesses before access placement was considered. Procedures were all brachial artery based and included autogenous brachiobasilic vein fistulae with elevation or transposition (n = 3), autogenous brachiocephalic fistula (n = 1), autogenous brachiobasilic graft with transposed greater saphenous vein (n = 1), and a prosthetic brachiobasilic graft with ePTFE (n = 1). There was one perioperative autogenous fistula thrombosis treated with thrombectomy and revision. A total of seven late revisions (thrombectomy, thrombectomy with venous outflow revision, fistula elevation, and 4 percutaneous angioplasties) in four patients were required. All fistulae were patent and functional at the end of the review period (mean follow-up, = 393 days; range, 35-757 days). Daily access was performed by family members (n = 2) or nurses (n = 4). One patient received small bowel transplantation and no longer required use of his patent fistula. One patient died of liver failure 382 days after fistula placement with a patent fistula. These results show that, while often forgotten and infrequently used, AV access can be a durable alternative to catheter-based venous access.

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    ABSTRACT: Hemophilia is a sex-linked condition affecting about 1 of every 5000 males in the United States. The management of children with hemophilia can be improved with regular intravenous infusion of factor VIII or IX, thus preventing crippling and sometimes fatal hemorrhage. Maintaining this vital intravenous access is often hampered by gradual loss of superficial veins or repeated central catheter sepsis and thrombosis. This study reviewed an experience with arteriovenous fistula in selected hemophilia patients with limited venous access. Consecutive patients operated on between October 2000 and July 2006 for venous access with the creation of an arteriovenous fistula were reviewed. They were selected because of repeated problems with other venous access. Patency, ease of use, duplex scan derived brachial artery diameter, and arm length were assessed. During a 69-month period, 10 arteriovenous fistulas (five brachial artery-basilic vein fistulas, 5 brachial artery-cephalic vein fistulas) were created for nine patients. The patients were a median age of 5.5 years (range, 1 to 27 years), and all were <13 except the 27-year-old patient. There were no postoperative hematomas requiring evacuation. One arteriovenous fistula failed to mature and was redone in the opposite arm, which subsequently occluded after 13 months. Of the mature fistulas, patency was 100% at 1 year, 80% (4/5) at 3 years, and 75% (3/4) at 4 years, with mean follow-up of 22 months. Brachial artery diameter increased in the involved arm by a ratio of 1.95 (range, 1.51 to 2.5) compared with the opposite arm. Arm length disparity was increased by 0.5 cm (range, 0.8 to 1.5 cm) in the involved arm. All fistulas allowed good access at home by a care provider. For hemophilia patients with compromised venous access, arteriovenous fistulas provide good early patency. Brachial artery diameter and arm length require continued follow-up.
    Full-text · Article · May 2007 · Journal of Vascular Surgery
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    Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Delivery of home parenteral nutrition (HPN), traditionally via tunneled central venous catheters (CVCs) is associated with several complications, the commonest being catheter related bloodstream infections. We have reviewed the literature to investigate the use of arteriovenous fistulae (AVF) as a viable alternative to traditional routes for long-term parenteral nutrition (PN). Methods: A literature search was performed using the Medline database, PubMed and a Google Scholar search. Search terms (keywords) used were: parenteral AND nutrition AND arteriovenous AND fistula for Title and Abstract. Our search yielded 12 articles (1972-2012). Two were excluded because of foreign language and difficult retrieval. The final yield was 10 papers. Results : There were four case reports, six original papers (one Swedish, one French - both excluded), one abstract and one letter to the editor. There were 19 native AVF, 11 bovine grafts (BG), four synthetic grafts (SG) and 10 autologous venous grafts (AVG). The maximum recorded length of use was 86, 54, 16.7 and 300 months, respectively. Complication rates per fistula calculated from literature were 0.47, 1.18, 2.0 and 0.3 respectively. Apart from these results, a recent retrospective study (13) of 62 AVFs for HPN patients revealed an infection rate far lower than all types of CVC and a slightly higher occlusion rate than long-term CVCs. Conclusions: There is relatively little data regarding this method. AVFs have been used successfully for HPN in patients with poor vasculature, on hemodialysis or recurrent line sepsis. This technique perhaps warrants more thorough exploration. Further research is required .
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · The journal of vascular access