AV fistulas remain dialysis gold standard at any age


A new study shows that for those individuals with chronic kidney disease, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old: arteriovenous fistulas remain the gold standard for maintaining access to one’s circulatory system to provide life-sustaining dialysis.

Interventional radiologists found no difference between the two age groups when it comes to “patency” or the openness of fistulas or accesses needed for dialysis. Their results were presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 34th Annual Scientific Meeting.

“Elderly patients’ arteriovenous fistulas – vascular accesses needed for dialysis treatment – responded just as well as those in younger patients in length of time the access stayed open and in moving blood flow efficiently. An arteriovenous fistula is the preferred access at any age,” said Andrew Forauer, an interventional radiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, USA

“One of the greatest challenges facing patients and their doctors is keeping an individual’s vascular access graft open for dialysis. Arteriovenous fistulas remain the gold standard of access for kidney dialysis patients. They last longer, need less rework and are associated with lower rates of infections, hospitalisation and death than other types of access,” explained Forauer.

A significant number of patients with chronic kidney failure receive dialysis using synthetic bridge grafts that tend to clot or malfunction, decreasing reliable access for life-sustaining dialysis and causing considerable morbidity, discomfort and inconvenience for dialysis patients, noted Forauer.


“Arteriovenous fistulas are underutilised in the United States yet they are best for keeping blood vessels open for access so individuals can continue to get their life-saving dialysis,” he said.



Society of Interventional Radiology