Arteriovenous fistulas for hemodialysis access in children and adolescents using the proximal radial artery inflow site

William C Jennings, Martin A Turman, Kevin E Taubman
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2009, 44 (7): 1377-81

INTRODUCTION: Hemodialysis (HD) for children and adolescents with renal failure is increasingly common in the United States. Consensus opinion views an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) as the best long-term access option, although catheter-based HD remains the most common vascular access in children and has greater risks of complications and higher mortality rates than AVF access. This report reviews our experience with children and adolescents undergoing vascular access operations.

METHODS: We reviewed 721 consecutive vascular access patients who had vascular access surgery by a single surgeon during the previous 5 years. Ten patients 20 years or younger were included in this study. In addition to physical examination, each patient had preoperative vascular ultrasound mapping by the operating surgeon. A radiocephalic AVF (RC-AVF) at the wrist was the first choice for dialysis access when feasible; however, the patients in this report were generally seen after years of intravenous access and venipunctures that necessitated more proximal AVF constructions. A proximal radial artery AVF (PRA-AVF) was our most common choice for vascular access when an RC-AVF was not suitable.

RESULTS: Patient ages were 9 to 20 years (mean, 16). Seven were male. Renal failure was caused by glomerulnephitis in 4 patients, 3 had a history of obstuctive uropathy, 2 were diabetic and one had congenital nephrotic syndrome. Eight patients had PRA-AVFs created, 1 had an RC-AVF, and 1 patient required a transposition AVF. Follow-up was 4 to 56 months (mean, 32 months). Primary, primary-assisted, and cumulative patencies were 77.8%, 100%, and 100% at 24 months. No prosthetic grafts were used in any vascular access patient during the study period.

CONCLUSION: We found HD access in children and adolescents was reliably established through use of a PRA-AVF when an RC-AVF was not feasible. Access sites were often possible through the upper arm cephalic veins and/or with retrograde flow into the forearm. Cumulative (secondary) patency was 100% at 24 months.

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