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Manual catheter-directed aspiration and other thrombectomy techniques for declotting native fistulas for hemodialysis.

Recent articles reported excellent results in the percutaneous declotting of native fistulas for hemodialysis with use of thromboaspiration, mechanical devices, or thrombolytic drugs, with success rates ranging from 76% to 100%. These results challenge the surgical approach, the effectiveness of which is not supported by comparable publications. Although it is more difficult to declot forearm native fistulas than grafts, declotting of fistulas is more rewarding because it achieves better long-term patency (1-year primary rates as high as 50% and secondary rates of 80%). The results reported from declotting of fistulas in the upper arm are not as good. The unmasking of stenoses in close to 100% of cases warrants stenosis detection programs similar to those used for grafts.

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