A ten-year experience of Brescia-Cimino arteriovenous fistula in children: Technical evolution and refinements

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Abstract

Purpose:

The arteriovenous fistula (AVF) of Brescia-Cimino fulfills nearly all of the criteria for an optimal access for chronic hemodialysis, such as long-term patency rate, low complication rate, and respect of vascular morphologic features. Alternative dialytic methods (i.e., external shunts and vascular grafts) cannot easily be applied to pediatric patients, and in addition, these methods are responsible for higher complication rates.

Methods:

From January 1985 to December 1994, 112 Brescia-Cimino AVFs were performed in 90 children (average age, 5.5 years; range, 5 months to 18 years). The average weight of the children was 28 kg (range, 6.5 to 54 kg); 16% of AVFs were performed in children who were less than 5 years old, and 18% in children who were less than 15 kg in body weight.

Results:

Chronic renal failure was caused by a nephropathy in 53 cases (14 with a nephrotic syndrome), and 37 cases had a uropathy. In all cases a phlebography was performed before the microsurgical treatment. Since 1994 an inflatable tourniquet has been placed on the selected upper arm because of an optimal exsanguination of the operating field.

Results:

The primary patency rate was obtained in all but six of the children; 35% of AVFs had either immediate or late complications. Thrombosis was the most frequent complication that we observed. In comparison with 79% of late thrombosis, 60% of early thrombosis was cured. Of the 80 AVFs, 63.5% with a 4-year follow-up are still patent.

Conclusion:

We emphasize the following two conclusions: first, microsurgery is essential to create AVFs with good results in children as well as in adult patients; and second, the results improved after the adoption of an upper-arm exsanguination and ischemia (pressure range, 400 mm Hg to 600 mm Hg) that avoided spasm of the vessels with a final 35% reduction in surgical time.

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