Regular Monitoring of Access Flow Compared with Monitoring of Venous Pressure Fails to Improve Graft Survival Academic Article uri icon

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  • Regular vascular access blood flow (Qa) surveillance is recommended to detect graft stenosis; however, there is little evidence that monitoring and correcting with angioplasty improves graft survival. This blinded, randomized, controlled trial of 112 patients studied time to graft thrombosis and graft loss, comparing monthly Qa plus standard surveillance (dynamic venous pressure and physical examination) (treatment group) to standard surveillance alone (control group). Only the treatment group was referred for angiogram if Qa <650 ml/min or a 20% decrease in Qa from baseline. Percutaneous angioplasty was performed for stenosis >50%. The rate of graft thrombosis per patient-year at risk was 0.41 and 0.51 in the control and treatment groups, respectively. Fifty-one interventions (0.93/patient-years at risk) were performed in the treatment group versus 31 interventions (0.61/patient-years at risk) in the control group. There was no difference in time to graft loss (P = 0.890). In a multivariate analysis, aspirin (ASA) therapy at baseline was associated with an 84% reduction in risk of graft thrombosis (odds ratio [OR], 0.14; P = 0.002). Higher baseline Qa (OR, 0.84; P = 0.05) and longer interval since graft insertion (OR, 0.97; P = 0.07) were associated with a decrease in graft thrombosis. Results reveal that graft surveillance that uses Qa increases the detection of stenosis, compared with standard surveillance; however, intervention with angioplasty does not improve the time to graft thrombosis or time to graft loss.


  • Moist, Louise M
  • Churchill, David Nelson
  • House, Andrew A
  • Millward, Steven F
  • Elliott, James E
  • Kribs, Stewart W
  • DeYoung, William J
  • Blythe, Lesley
  • Stitt, Lawrence W
  • Lindsay, Robert M

publication date

  • October 2003