Long-term outcomes of arteriovenous thigh grafts in hemodialysis patients: A comparison with tunneled dialysis catheters

Academic Article


  • Background and objective Arteriovenous thigh grafts are a potential vascular access option in hemodialysis patients who have exhausted all upper-limb sites. This study compared the outcomes of thigh grafts with outcomes obtained with dialysis catheters. Design, setting, participants, & measurements A prospective vascular access database was queried to identify 209 thigh grafts placed from January 1,2003, to June 30,2011. The following were calculated: secondary graft survival (from graft creation to permanent failure), assisted primary graft survival (from graft creation to first thrombosis), and infection-free graft survival (from graft creation to first graft infection). Graft outcomes were compared with those observed with 472 tunneled internal jugular dialysis catheters. Results The median duration of patient follow-up was 340 days for grafts and 91 days for catheters. The surgical technical failure rate of thigh grafts was 8.1% and was higher in patients with vascular disease (hazard ratio [HR], 2.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-8.04; P=0.03). Secondary and assisted primary graft survival rates at 1,2, and 5 years were 62%, 54%, and 38% and 38%, 27%, and 17%, respectively. Infection-free graft survival rates at 1, 2, and 5 years were 79%, 73%, and 61%. Secondary survival was much worse for dialysis catheters than thigh grafts (HR, 4.44; 95% CI, 3.65-5.22; P,0.001). Likewise, infection-free survival was far worse for catheters than for thigh grafts (HR, 3.77; 95% CI, 2.80-4.82; P,0.001). Conclusions Thigh grafts are a viable vascular option in patients who have exhausted upper-extremity options. Outcomes with thigh grafts are superior to those obtained with dialysis catheters. © 2013 by the American Society of Nephrology.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ong S; Barker-Finkel J; Allon M
  • Start Page

  • 804
  • End Page

  • 809
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 5