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For Old or Young Dialysis Patients, AV Fistulas Remain Pure Gold
Date:3/9/2009

Preferred Access at Any Age: Comparison by Interventional Radiologists Shows No Difference in 'Patency' or Openness of Arteriovenous (AV) Fistulas

SAN DIEGO, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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) fistulas -- vascular accesses needed for dialysis treatment -- responded just as well as those in younger patients -- in 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 fail -- called chronic kidney or end-stage renal disease -- treatment 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 acid-base 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
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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