Brachial vein transposition arteriovenous fistula: is it an acceptable option for chronic dialysis vascular access?

P J Torina, E F Westheimer, H R Schanzer
Journal of Vascular Access 2008, 9 (1): 39-44

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the midterm performance of brachial vein arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) and to compare this performance with arteriovenous grafts (AVGs) and basilic vein transposition AVFs.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed. Between December 2002 and October 2006, 149 AV access procedures consisting of brachial vein transposition AVFs (11 one-stage and 2 two-stage procedures), basilic vein transposition AVFs (n=42), and AVGs (n=94) were performed in 141 patients.

RESULTS: 73% of one-stage brachial vein AVF patients experienced at least one complication during follow-up vs. 52% of the basilic vein transposition AVF group and 55% of the AVG group. The primary patency rates at 12 months for one-stage brachial vein AVFs, basilic vein AVFs, and AVGs were 24, 45 and 50%, respectively. The assisted primary patency rates were 45, 74 and 63%, and the secondary patency rates were 45, 74 and 78%, respectively. A significant difference in the overall secondary patency rates between one-stage brachial vein AVF and AVGs (p=0.015) was detected. Significance was approached between one-stage brachial vein AVFs and basilic vein AVFs overall assisted primary patency (p=0.055) and secondary patency (p=0.055) rates.

CONCLUSION: The brachial vein transposition, when done as a one-stage procedure, is associated with inferior patency rates when compared to the basilic vein transposition AVF and AVG. Therefore, in the setting of inadequate cephalic and basilic vein, a prosthetic graft is superior to a brachial vein transposition. A two-stage procedure, as suggested by others, may improve the results of this technique.


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