Safety and efficacy of polyurethane vascular grafts for early hemodialysis access

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Background:Arteriovenous grafts made of polyurethane (PU) have the advantage of early cannulation obviating the placement of a central vein catheter in patients with an acute need for long-term hemodialysis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the safety, efficacy and complication rate of PU vascular grafts for dialysis access in patients in whom early cannulation was performed.Methods:Between January 2007 and December 2015, 125 straight brachial-axillary grafts were placed in patients with an acute thrombosis of a previous arteriovenous access. Sixty-four were PU and 61 were polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts. Patency and complications rates were compared between the two groups.Results:The median interval from implantation to cannulation was 1 day in the PU group vs 28 days in the PTFE group. Cumulative infection rate at 5 years was 13% and 8% in the PU and the PTFE groups, respectively (P = .6). None of the patients in the PU group developed a pseudoaneurysm necessitating intervention, compared with one patient in the PTFE group. Primary and secondary patency rates did not differ significantly between the two groups. The cumulative median primary patency was 23 months in the PU group vs 26 months in the PTFE group. Median secondary patency was 42 vs 33 months, respectively. Diabetes mellitus was the only factor adversely affecting graft patency in both groups.Conclusions:PU grafts offer the advantage of early cannulation with infection, pseudoaneurysm formation and patency rates similar to those of the PTFE grafts.

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