Bovine Carotid Artery (Artegraft) as a Hemodialysis Access Conduit in Patients Who Are Poor Candidates for Native Arteriovenous Fistulae

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Our experience with bovine carotid artery graft (BCAG) for hemodialysis access (Artegraft, North Brunswick, New Jersey) is presented. A review of all patients who underwent placement of BCAG for hemodialysis access at our institution was performed. Between January 2012 and June 2013, 17 BCAGs were placed in 17 patients. Indications included skin compromise, recurrent expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and catheter infections, immunosuppression, groin placement, and surgeon's choice. Actuarial primary, primary-assisted, and secondary patency rates at 18 months were 73.3%, 67%, and 89%, respectively. One immunosuppressed patient developed a vancomycin-resistant enterococcus graft infection and required removal 2 months following the initial procedure. We conclude that BCAG can be used as an alternative to ePTFE for angioaccess in patients with no available superficial vein in high-risk patients with low morbidity and good functional patency. Our 1-year patency rates were superior to ePTFE as reported in the contemporary peer-reviewed literature.

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