Secondary patency of thrombosed prosthetic vascular access grafts with aggressive surveillance, monitoring and endovascular management

S K Kakkos, G K Haddad, J A Haddad, M M Scully
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2008, 36 (3): 356-65

BACKGROUND: To study the long-term patency of thrombosed prosthetic vascular access grafts treated with percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy (PMT) followed by aggressive surveillance and monitoring and repeated endovascular interventions.

STUDY DESIGN: Two hundred seven vascular access grafts presented with first-time thrombosis were treated with PMT using the AngioJet device (n=185) or the Arrow-Trerotola percutaneous thrombolytic device (n=22) followed by angioplasty (+/- stenting) of the anatomical lesion responsible for the thrombotic event. Clinical success was considered at least one successful subsequent hemodialysis session. Graft surveillance/monitoring included clinical and hemodialysis parameters to detect a failing or thrombosed graft.

RESULTS: PMT was technically successful in 202 cases (97.6%) and clinically successful in 193 cases (93.2%). During follow-up, 149 got thrombosed and either abandoned (n=33) or underwent at least once repeat thrombectomy (n=116); finally 100 grafts were abandoned (n=90), ligated (n=5) or removed (n=5). Endovascular management (0.54 procedures per 100 graft-days, thrombectomy, n=307 sessions and angioplasty, n=162 sessions) increased significantly functional assisted-primary patency rates from 29% and 14% at 1 and 2 years to a secondary patency of 62% and 47%, respectively. Secondary patency was worse in loop grafts (P=.02) and intermediate graft thrombosis (occurred between 31-182 days after graft placement, P<.001) and better when renal failure was due to hypertension or diabetes (compared to other or cryptogenic causes, P=.048) or isolated angioplasty for graft dysfunction during follow-up had been performed (P<.001). Multivariate analysis identified intermediate graft thrombosis and isolated angioplasty as independent predictors of secondary patency (P<.001, relative risk 2.77 and P<.001, relative risk 0.28, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: PMT is a highly successful procedure with acceptable long-term secondary patency results, provided that aggressive endovascular management of subsequent thrombotic or dysfunction episode is performed. Further research to identify the causes of intermediate graft thrombosis is justified.

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