JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Outcomes of initial hemodialysis access surgery in an Asian population.

PURPOSE: Access-related morbidity contributes substantially to the costs of hemodialysis. The aim of this study was to examine the outcomes of initial hemodialysis access surgery at a single center in Singapore and to analyze factors which might influence survival of the surgically-created access.

METHODS: Patients undergoing their first hemodialysis access operations between January 2003 and December 2007 were retrospectively identified. Primary and assisted primary patency rates were determined by the Kaplan-Meier method. Data on age, sex, diabetic status, and prior tunneled central venous catheter (CVC) use were analyzed against the outcome of arteriovenous fistulas (AVF).

RESULTS: During the study period, 410 primary upper limb access operations were performed: 297 forearm AVF (72.4%), 91 upper arm AVF (22.2%), and 22 arteriovenous grafts (AVG; 5.4%). Men comprised 55.4%, 271 (66.1%) had diabetes, and 316 patients (77.1%) came to surgery with pre-existing CVC. Sixty-two percent of forearm AVF and 67% of arm AVF were used successfully. Age, sex, diabetes, and prior use of a CVC did not significantly affect the ability to use an AVF. Only in the female diabetic subgroup was an earlier loss of primary assisted patency of AVF recorded.

CONCLUSIONS: In our Asian population, we have demonstrated AVF patency rates equivalent to those of international centers. We now face the challenge of achieving a higher rate of pre-emptive AVF placement with a subsequent reduction in CVC use.

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