Upper Arm Arteriovenous Fistulas as a Reliable Access Alternative for Patients Requiring Chronic He

Livingston, Chrisopher K.; Potts III, John R.
November 1999
American Surgeon;Nov1999, Vol. 65 Issue 11, p1038
Academic Journal
The wrist fistula is the access procedure of choice in the hemodialysis patient. However, unavailable or unusable anatomy in this aging population has made them difficult to establish. This study retrospectively compares patency, occlusion, and complication rates of upper arm arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) as a reliable alternative. Fifty-eight upper arm AVFs were created in 52 patients between February 1995 and August 1997 at Hermann Hospital, affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas. Fistulas were constructed using the brachial artery (BA) side-to-end (n = 56) or side-to-side (n = 1) with either the cephalic vein (CV; n = 39), transposed basilic vein (TBV; n = 16), or other vein [basilic vein (BV; n = 1), transposed cephalic vein (TCV; n = 1), median cubital vein (MCV; n = 1)]. One-year primary patency rates for upper arm AVFs were 66 per cent, and secondary patency rates were 22 per cent. Flow rates averaged 354.6 mL/minute. Primary and secondary patency rates for fistulas created are: BA-CV (67% and 20%), BA-TBV (63% and 25%), and other upper arm AVFs 66 per cent without revisions. Primary patencies for both BA-CV and BA-TBV fistulas were similar to previously reported studies. Secondary patencies proved to be less effective. Upper arm AVFs should be considered before graft placement when wrist and forearm anatomy does not lend itself to fistula creation.


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