Development of recalcitrant stenotic lesions of the cephalic arch is a significant cause of dysfunction of brachiocephalic access arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). Endovascular and surgical therapy can be used to treat cephalic arch stenosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of endovascular and surgical interventions for cephalic arch stenosis.Methods
A retrospective review of all patients during a 16-year period with a compromised but not occluded brachiocephalic AVF due to cephalic arch stenosis was undertaken. Patency, reintervention, infection, and functional dialysis rates were examined.Results
From January 2000 to December 2015, 219 patients (67% female; mean age, 58 ± 20 years) with a failing brachiocephalic AVF underwent intervention at the cephalic arch. These interventions included angioplasty, primary stent placement, transposition, and bypass. The average time to intervention for cephalic arch stenosis was 1.7 years after primary access placement. The average number of percutaneous interventions before the decision to intervene surgically on the cephalic arch was three (range, two to six). Technical success was superior in the surgical groups (70% and 80% compared with 96% and 100% for balloon angioplasty, stenting, transposition, and bypass, respectively; P = .02). Major adverse cardiovascular events were overall low but significantly higher in the surgical groups (1%, 1%, 0.3%, and 0.3% for transposition, bypass, balloon angioplasty, and stenting, respectively; P = .02). Both surgical options carried significantly superior patency rates at 2 years for transposition, bypass, balloon angioplasty, and stenting, respectively (63%, 59%, 90%, and 92%; P = .04). There was a lower rate of interventions per person-year of follow-up in the surgical groups compared with the endovascular groups (1.9, 1.4, 3.5, and 3.1 for transposition, bypass, balloon angioplasty, and stenting, respectively; P = .04). Functional dialysis durations were significantly superior in the surgical groups compared with the endovascular group (P = .03).Conclusions
Cephalic arch stenosis is a significant cause of brachiocephalic AVF malfunction. Surgical options offer superior long-term patency and functional results and should be considered earlier in the treatment of this disease.