The Impact of Arteriovenous Fistulae for Hemodialysis on the Cardiovascular System

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An arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is critical for the provision of optimal chronic hemodialysis. Its creation causes significant hemodynamic alterations in cardiovascular parameters, and can result in progressive left and right heart failure. Despite successful kidney transplantation, many patients retain a functional AVF indefinitely, which may contribute to ongoing adverse cardiovascular outcomes. A similar high risk:benefit ratio may exist in peritoneal dialysis patients with “backup” AVF.

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