Comparison of Cutting Balloon versus High-Pressure Balloon Angioplasty for Resistant Venous Stenoses of Native Hemodialysis Fistulas

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To compare the technical success, safety, and patency of cutting balloon angioplasty versus high-pressure balloon angioplasty in the treatment of resistant native hemodialysis fistula stenoses.


The authors retrospectively reviewed 1,220 percutaneous transluminal angioplasty procedures performed to treat dysfunctional native hemodialysis fistulas. Seventy patients with stenoses resistant to conventional balloon angioplasty (up to 24 atm) were included in this study: 35 patients underwent cutting balloon angioplasty from September 2003 through February 2005, and 35 patients underwent high-pressure balloon angioplasty from March 2005 through April 2006. Evaluation included technical success, complications, and postintervention patency rates up to 6 months.


The technical success rates were similar between the cutting balloon (100%) and high-pressure balloon (97.1%) groups. After cutting balloon angioplasty, the primary lesion patency rates were 100% (35/35), 88.6% (31/35), and 71.4% (25/35) at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months, respectively. After high-pressure balloon angioplasty, the primary lesion patency rates were 97.1% (34/35), 62.9% (22/35), and 42.9% (15/35) respectively. The primary lesion patency rates at 3 and 6 months were significantly better with cutting balloon angioplasty than with high-pressure balloon angioplasty (P= .018 and .009, respectively). There were no device-related complications in the cutting balloon group. Six device-related extravasations occurred in the high-pressure balloon group.


The results of this retrospective study suggest that, for resistant stenoses in native hemodialysis fistulas, both high-pressure balloon and cutting balloon angioplasty are effective; however, cutting balloon angioplasty seems to provide more long-standing primary patency at 6-month follow-up.

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