SAN DIEGO, Calif. (March 9, 2009)A new study shows that for those individuals with chronic kidney disease, it doesn't matter if you're young or old: arteriovenous (AV) fistulas remain the gold standard for maintaining access to one's circulatory system to provide life-sustaining dialysis. Interventional radiologists found no difference between the two age groups when it comes to "patency" or the openness of AV fistulas or accesses needed for dialysis. Their results were presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 34th Annual Scientific Meeting.
"Elderly patients' arteriovenous (AV) fistulasvascular accesses needed for dialysis treatmentresponded just as well as those in younger patientsin length of time the access stayed open and in moving blood flow efficiently. An AV fistula is the preferred access at any age," said Andrew R. Forauer, M.D., an interventional radiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. When kidneys failcalled chronic kidney or end-stage renal diseasetreatment in the form of regular dialysis (or hemodialysis) is needed to replace the kidney's job of ridding the body of toxic waste products to maintain fluid, electrolyte and acidbase balance. A machine is used to filter blood outside one's body, allowing blood to flow, a few ounces at a time, through a special filter that removes wastes and extra fluids. The clean blood is then returned to a dialysis patient's body. Dialysis helps women and men feel better and live longer. "One of the greatest challenges facing patients and their doctors is keeping an individual's vascular access graft open for dialysis. AV fistulas remain the gold standard of access for kidney dialysis patients. They last longer, need less rework and are associated with lower rates of infections, hospitalization and death than other types of access," explained Forauer.
A significant number of patients with chronic kidney failure receive dialysis using synthetic bridge grafts t
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Society of Interventional Radiology