Endovascular Creation of Arteriovenous Fistulae for Hemodialysis Access with a 4 Fr Device: Clinical Experience from the EASE Study

Todd L Berland, Jason Clement, Joseph Griffin, Gregory G Westin, Adrian Ebner
Annals of Vascular Surgery 2019, 60: 182-192

BACKGROUND: The use of arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is hampered by long surgical wait times, slow maturation, and upwards of 60% that do not mature. We describe our clinical experience in using a system with a 4F catheter profile for endovascular AVF creation in patients on hemodialysis.

METHODS: This was a multioperator, single-center, single-arm, prospective study intended to evaluate safety and efficacy of a 4 Fr endovascular AVF (endoAVF) system for the creation of vascular access in hemodialysis patients. The study was performed after institutional review board approval at Italian Hospital (Asuncion, Paraguay). Patients were followed up at regular intervals through 6 months to determine procedural, maturation, and cannulation success as well as intervention rate and patency.

RESULTS: From May to November 2016, 32 patients underwent the endoAVF procedure with no device-related adverse events. An endoAVF was successfully created in the proximal forearm for all 32 patients (20 between the radial artery and radial vein; 12 between the ulnar artery and ulnar vein). Wrist access was used for 72% (23/32) of the procedures for the arterial catheter and 59% (19/32) of the procedures for the venous catheter. The device successfully created an endoAVF in every patient for a technical success rate of 100% (32/32). The device- or procedure-related serious adverse event rate was 3% (1/32); one patient experienced a venous guidewire perforation successfully managed with a stent graft. Primary and cumulative patency rates through 6 months were 83% and 87%, respectively, with an intervention rate of 0.21 per patient-year. Physiological suitability, as defined by target flow rates ≥500 ml/min and cannulation vessel diameters ≥4 mm, was achieved in 91% (29/32) of patients by 90 days. Successful 2-needle cannulation was achieved in 78% (21/27) by 90 days, with mean time to cannulation of 43 ± 14 days. Functional cannulation, as defined by successful 2-needle cannulation for two-thirds of the dialysis sessions within 1 month, was achieved in 95% (20/21) of the patients who were successfully cannulated for an overall rate of 74% (20/27). All patients who achieved functional cannulation had their central venous catheters (CVCs) removed before the 90-day follow-up for a CVC removal rate of 74% (20/27).

CONCLUSIONS: The 4 Fr endoAVF system allowed for multiple access and fistula creation site options to tailor the procedure to individual patient anatomy. Furthermore, the outcomes are comparable to previous generation endoAVF technology, with a potentially improved safety profile because of the use of arteries at the wrist for access.

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