Arteriovenous grafts are associated with earlier catheter removal and fewer catheter days in the United States Renal Data System population

Andrew E. Leake, Theodore H. Yuo, Timothy Wu, Larry Fish, Ellen D. Dillavou, Rabih A. Chaer, Steven A. Leers, Michel S. Makaroun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are associated with improved long-term outcomes but longer maturation times and higher primary failure rates compared with arteriovenous grafts (AVGs). The Fistula First Breakthrough Initiative has recently emphasized tunneled dialysis catheter (TDC) avoidance. We sought to characterize the relationship of AVFs and AVGs to the use of TDCs as well as secondary procedures. Methods Using the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) database, we identified incident hemodialysis (HD) patients in 2005 that started HD with a TDC and survived at least 1 year. We then monitored them through 2008. Access creation, TDC removal, TDC placement, and secondary procedures were identified by Current Procedural Terminology codes (American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill). Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for the primary end points. Results In 2005, HD was initiated in 56,495 patients, 74% with a TDC. Of these, 6286 had an access procedure ≤3 months and 1 year of follow-up (AVF, 4634; AVG, 1652). Mean age was 67.7 years (AVF, 67.3; AVG, 68.7 years; P <.001), 53.3% were men (AVF, 58.1%; AVG, 40.5%; P <.001), and 33.8% were obese (AVF, 33.6%; AVG, 34.4%; P = not significant). AVG placement was associated with a higher TDC removal at 1 (7.9% vs 3.1%; P <.001), 3 (47.8% vs17.8%; P <.001), and 6 (60.6% vs 47.2%; P <.001) months. There was no difference at 9 months (AVG, 64.9% vs AVF, 62.3%; P =.06). The median time to TDC removal was lower in the AVG group (70 days vs 155 days; P <.001). Multivariable model found AVFs were associated with decreased odds of TDC removal at 3 (odds ratio, 0.22; P <.001) and 6 months (odds ratio, 0.54; P <.001). AVGs required more secondary procedures than AVFs at all time points up to 1 year and specifically had increased thrombectomy procedures (39.8% vs 11.5%; P <.001). Conclusions In patients starting dialysis with a TDC, AVGs are associated with increased TDC removal and fewer catheter days compared with AVFs at up to 6 months. However, AVGs require more secondary procedures at all time points up to 1 year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7921
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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