Flow reduction in high-flow arteriovenous fistulas improve cardiovascular parameters and decreases need for hospitalization

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High output heart failure (HF) and pulmonary hypertension have been demonstrated in patients with prevalent arteriovenous (AV) fistulas. Fistulas with flow >2000 mL/minutes are more likely to induce changes in cardiac geometry and pulmonary artery pressure. The effects of reducing flow in AV access and its implications on HF decompensation and hospitalizations have not been studied. Retrospective analysis of 12 patients who needed hospitalization for acute Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) decompensation with AV access flow of 2 L/minutes (as defined by Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI)) or more were included in the study. All the patients underwent banding of their inflow at the anastomosis with perioperative access flow measurement. Follow-up period was 6 months. 2D echo was done at 6 months postbanding in addition to access flow and clinical evaluation. Complete data was available for all the 12 patients. Study data was collected on all the 12 patients. Mean age was 64.7 years. The mean access flow pre and postbanding were 3784 mL/minutes and 1178 mL/minutes, respectively (P < 0.001). Eighty percent of the patients had diabetes and 41% had coronary artery disease. There was a statistically significant decrease in cardiac output (pre = 7.06 L/minutes, post = 6.47 L/minutes P = 0.03), pulmonary systolic pressure (pre = 54 mmHg, post = 44 mmHg P = 0.02), left ventricular mass index (LVMI) (pre = 130 g/m2, post = 125 g/m2 P = 0.006) and need for rehospitalization for CHF decompensation. The New York Heart Association (NYHA) staging improved by 1 stage postbanding (P = 0.002). The hospitalization rate was 3.75 ± 1.2 in the 6 months before banding and was decreased to 1.08 ± 1.2 (P = 0.002) postbanding. The hemoglobin level, predialysis systolic blood pressure, calcium phosphorous product and the use of Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System (RAAS) blockade agents and calcium channel blockers were comparable before and after inflow banding. Flow reduction in high flow fistulas are associated with decreased LVMI and pulmonary artery pressures. There is also a significant reduction in the risk for hospitalization due to acute HF and an improvement in NYHA heart failure stage.

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