Arteriovenous fistula failure: Is there a role for accessory draining vein embolization?

Milind Nikam, Radha K. Popuri, Akimichi Inaba, Usamah Taylor, Finn Farquharson, Sandip Mitra, Nicholas Chalmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Arterio-venous fistulae (AVFs) are accepted as the best form of haemodialysis vascular access (VA) but are plagued by high primary failure. Accessory drainage veins (ADVs) may account for up to 40% of these failures. Furthermore, they may also lead to low flow in 'mature' AVFs. Methods: We analysed the results of 42 patients who underwent endovascular coiling of ADVs at our centre over a 4-year period. Results: Indications were failure to mature in 34%, low flow or cannulation difficulty in 56% and thrombosis in 10% of cases. 95% procedures involved a combination of angioplasty and coiling with only 5% patients having coiling of ADV alone. Forearm AVFs constituted the majority of the cases as opposed to upper arm AVFs (74% vs. 26% respectively). Primary patency at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months was 90%, 87%, 76%, 70% and 55% respectively. Successful dialysis was achieved in 10 of the 14 fistulae that had hitherto failed to mature. Coil migration was observed in 1 patient, which led to fistula occlusion. Conclusion: Coil embolisation of ADVs is an effective treatment option for dysfunctional fistulae that can be performed at the same time as angioplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-503
JournalJournal of Vascular Access
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2012


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