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For old or young dialysis patients, AV fistulas remain pure gold
Date:3/9/2009

hat tend to clot or malfunction, decreasing reliable access for life-sustaining dialysis and causing considerable morbidity, discomfort and inconvenience for dialysis patients, noted Forauer. "AV fistulas are underutilized in the United States yet they are best for keeping blood vessels open for access so individuals can continue to get their life-saving dialysis," said Forauer.

Researchers studied how 72 patients (36 were 75 years or older) and 36 younger patients (between the ages of 40 and 60) would fare when comparing the patency of AV fistulas. Researchers collected information about the patients' other medical conditionssuch as whether they had peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or diabetes, whether they were smokers and whether they used anticoagulant medicationsto see how this information would play in the big picture. Elderly patients were more likely to be affected by these conditions; however, their comparison showed no difference in primary, primary assisted, secondary or postinterventional primary patency. "AV fistula patency after intervention does not differ between younger and older patient populations," said Forauer.

Before dialysis can begin, a vascular access, which is the site on a patient's body where blood is removed and returned during dialysis, must be prepared. To maximize the amount of blood cleansed during dialysis treatments, the vascular accesssuch as an AV fistulaallows continuous high volumes of blood flow. An AV fistula is a connection created surgically by joining a vein and an artery in the forearm that allows blood from the artery to flow into the vein, thus providing access for dialysis. The increased blood flow makes the vein grow larger and stronger so it can be used for repeated needle insertions. This vascular access provides an efficient way for blood to be carried from one's body to the dialyzer and back without causing discomfort. Once matured, two needles are placed into the vein for dialysis. One needle i
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@SIRweb.org
703-460-5572
Society of Interventional Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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