JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Manual thromboaspiration and dilation of thrombosed dialysis access: mid-term results of a simple concept.

PURPOSE: To report the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of manual thromboaspiration as a single means of declotting dialysis access.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between April 1994 and December 1996, 59 consecutive conduits (43 polytetrafluoroethylene [PTFE] grafts, 16 native fistulas) were declotted with 8-F or 7-F angulated catheters. Unmasked stenoses were dilated. Clinical and paraclinical nephrologic surveillance (poor flow, palpation, difficulties with cannulation, increased compression times, increasing venous pressures) led to redilations and stent placements. Rethromboses were treated with further declotting by aspiration. The results are presented according to the life-table method.

RESULTS: The initial success of 43 of 43 PTFE grafts (mean procedure time, 119 min +/- 29 [standard deviation]) led to a primary patency rate of 85% +/- 5% (SE) at 1 month, 33% +/- 8% at 6 months, and 24% +/- 12% at 1 year. A graft was ligated 6 days after declotting for acute bleeding in one patient given high-dose warfarin. The secondary patency rates were 86% +/- 7% at 6 months and 86% +/- 9% at 1 year, with a mean duration of patency of 5.7 months between two radiologic interventions performed to maintain or to restore patency, and 19 stents were placed at a mean follow-up of 3 months. The success rate was 81% for native fistulas, with primary patency rates of 81% +/- 10% at 1 month, 74% +/- 14% at 6 months, and 60% +/- 27% at 1 year; secondary patency rates of 81% +/- 12% at 6 months and 81% +/- 18% at 1 year.

CONCLUSION: Thromboaspiration is a safe and effective method for declotting dialysis access, yielding a low rethrombosis rate during the first month. Overall radiologic management with reintervention on average every 6 months results in high secondary patency rates at 1 year (81%-86%).

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