Natural Vascular Remodelling After Arteriovenous Fistula Creation in Dialysis Patients With and Without Previous Ipsilateral Vascular Access

Niek Zonnebeld*, Wouter Huberts, Magda M. van Loon, Tammo Delhaas, Jan H. M. Tordoir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: The aim of the study was to observe the natural haemodynamic changes after arteriovenous fistula (AVF) creation in haemodialysis patients with and without a previous ipsilateral vascular access.

Methods: This was a retrospective, single centre cohort study. Patient demographics were registered and preand post-operative vessel ultrasound examinations were performed at regular follow up intervals. Arteriovenous fistula outcomes in terms of vessel diameter and access flow enhancement were determined for radiocephalic, brachiocephalic, and brachiobasilic AVFs.

Results: In total, 331 patients (median age 66 years, 60% male) with 366 new autologous AVFs were studied, of whom 112 patients had a previous ipsilateral vascular access (VA). Patients with a previous ipsilateral VA had a statistically significantly greater pre-operative brachial artery diameter (4.4 mm) and flow (106 mL/min), and basilic vein diameter (4.9 mm), compared with patients without a previous ipsilateral VA (4.0 mm, 54 mL/min, and 4.3 mm, respectively). For all AVF configurations these differences gradually disappeared over three months after AVF creation. The haemodynamic changes reached a plateau at three months, and were statistically significantly accelerated in patients with a previous ipsilateral VA. There were no differences in primary failure or high flow complications between both groups.

Conclusion: Arteriovenous fistulae show haemodynamic and remodelling changes up to three months post-operatively. Previous ipsilateral VAs may initiate vessel preconditioning, and accelerate the observed haemodynamic changes after AVF creation. However, this preconditioning does not result in a beneficial or detrimental effect on VA function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Arteriovenous fistula
  • Haemodialysis
  • Maturation
  • Vascular access
  • Vessel preconditioning
  • Vessel remodelling

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