INTRODUCTION: Arteriovenous fistula is a lifeline for end-stage kidney disease patients on dialysis. The quality of the vein and artery to be used plays a crucial role in attaining a functioning, reliable and long-lasting arteriovenous fistula. The aim of the study is to present an alternative for haemodialysis access to preserve the upper arm vasculature for future use - the forearm loop arteriovenous fistula.
METHODS: From October 2015 to September 2016, 202 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), stages 4 and 5, underwent arteriovenous fistula creation at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital, Malaysia. Nine patients, with severe atherosclerosis of the distal artery, but with satisfactory veins, underwent forearm loop arteriovenous fistula creation. Maturation of the fistula was based on the classification by the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF KDOQI).
RESULTS: All nine patients who underwent forearm loop arteriovenous fistula have had diabetes mellitus for more than 10 years. Only one fistula failed to mature within 6 weeks. Two arteriovenous fistulas thrombosed at 3 and 5 months, respectively, after the commencement of haemodialysis. However, the other six matured fistulas are still functioning well after a year of regular usage.
CONCLUSIONS: Distal forearm arteries in diabetics may be severely atherosclerotic. Forearm loop arteriovenous fistula can be considered as the primary access for cases decided as inconvenient for fistula creation due to severe occlusive atherosclerotic disease of the forearm arteries; in order to preserve upper arm veins for future access procedures.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.