Over time, the accesses narrow and block off (occlude) due to buildup of scar tissue. Failing or occluded dialysis access grafts cause considerable morbidity, discomfort and inconvenience for dialysis patients due to the need for invasive procedures to reestablish access flow or to graft abandonment and reoperation. When failure occurs, per National Kidney Foundation Guidelines, an interventional radiologist normally performs a balloon angioplasty to reopen the fistula and regain access for dialysis.
More information about the Society of Interventional Radiology, interventional radiologists, angioplasty and stent placement can be found online at www.SIRweb.org.
"Stent Graft Versus Balloon Angioplasty for Failing Dialysis-access Grafts," which appears in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was co-written by Ziv J Haskal, M.D., FSIR, FAHA. FACR, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Md.; Scott O. Trerotola, M.D., FSIR, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.; Bart L. Dolmatch, M.D., FSIR, University of Texas/Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas; Earl Schuman, M.D., Oregon Surgical Consultants, Portland, Ore.; Sanford D. Altman, M.D., Open Access Vascular Access Center, Miami, Fla.; Samuel W. Mietling, M.D., Vascular Access Center, Augusta, Ga.; Scott S. Berman, M.D., Vascular Surgery, Tucson Ariz.; Gordon McLennan, M.D., FSIR, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; Clayton K. Trimmer, DO, University of Texas/Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas; John Ross, M.D., Bamberg County Hospital and Nursing Center, Bamberg, S.C.; and Thomas M. Vesely
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Society of Interventional Radiology