Document Type




Format of Original

7 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Vascular Nursing

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1016/j.jvn.2012.10.003



An adequate fistula or graft is essential to long-term survival and quality of life for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who are receiving hemodialysis because of its lower complication rates, lower costs, and prolonged patency. Use of duplex ultrasound for preoperative planning is currently recommended by the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative for patients with ESRD with prior fistulas or grafts, central lines, pacemakers, and prior chest or arm surgery. The preoperative evaluation consisted of gray-scale ultrasound and physical examination in all patients with ESRD in this study. The current study determined the baseline data, including the type of vascular access, functional patency of access, associated morbidity, and preoperative demographics and comorbidities, including prior dialysis access. The primary objective was to determine the frequency of revision surgery, to identify the potential cases that may indicate the need for better assessments (eg, duplex ultrasound), and to improve fistula and graft success rates.

Materials and methods

A retrospective chart review of patients with ESRD who underwent native fistula or graft access creation in a 13-month time period from 2010 to 2011 was completed. Seventy-six surgical procedures were performed on 53 subjects. Included variables were age, race, gender, smoking status, body mass index, stage of chronic kidney disease at referral, previous central lines/pacemakers, fistulas, or grafts. Comorbidities identified included diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HTN), and coronary artery disease (CAD). The types of access, location, maturation, infection, failure, or revision were noted. Continuous variables are shown in frequencies and mean. Categoric data were compared using chi-square analysis.


During the 13-month study period, 76 surgical procedures were performed in 53 patients, with 39.6% of patients undergoing multiple surgical procedures. The majority of patients were male (98%) and white (58.5%), with a history of HTN (96.2%) and DM (64.2%). The mean age was 68 years, with most patients presenting in stage 5 chronic kidney disease (92.5%). Some 67.9% of patients had prior central lines or pacemakers; of those, 56.6% had previous fistulas or grafts. Negative significance was determined between the comorbidities DM/HTN/CAD alone or grouped as a cohort and multiple surgeries. Positive significance was found between multiple surgical procedures and those with prior access/ pacemaker/central line (chi-square [1, N = 53] = exact P = .04).


Patients with ESRD undergoing access creation presenting with prior central lines, pacemakers, or arm surgery (fistulas or grafts) were more likely to undergo multiple surgeries to obtain a functional graft or fistula for hemodialysis use than those patients with ESRD without prior central lines, pacemakers, or arm surgery (fistulas or grafts). Color duplex ultrasound should be considered as a standard for preoperative assessment in an effort to improve fistula or graft success rates.


Accepted version. Journal of Vascular Nursing, Vol. 31, No. 3 (September 2013): 111-117. DOI. © 2013 Elsevier. Used with permission.

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