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The Impact of Vein Mechanical Compliance on Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes

Smith, George E.; Barnes, Rachel; Chetter, Ian C.; Barnes, Richard; Fagan, Michael


Rachel Barnes

Richard Barnes

Michael Fagan


© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Background Arteriovenous fistulae (AVFs) are the preferred access for hemodialysis but suffer a high early failure rate. The aim of this study was to determine how venous distensibility, as measured in vitro, relates to early outcomes of AVF formed with the sampled vein. Methods Ethical approval was obtained for all aspects of this study. During AVF formation a circumferential segment of the target vein was sampled. Mechanical stress testing of the venous segments was undertaken using a dynamic mechanical analyzer, with progressive stress loading at 2 N/min to a maximum of 10 N or until sample disruption. Stress-strain curves were obtained for vein samples and Young's modulus (YM) calculated. Duplex assessment of the fistulae was undertaken at 30 days. Results Thirty patients consented to participate with 29 samples obtained for analysis. Statistical comparison of YM demonstrated no relationship with common cardiovascular risk factors or dialysis status. Subject age greater than 65 was the only patient factor which showed a significant difference in YM (P = 0.05). Furthermore, a negative correlation was confirmed between age and YM (Pearson's r = -0.465, P < 0.05). Nine of the 29 subjects suffered an early AVF failure. Mann-Whitney U testing for differences in distribution reported that YM was significantly higher in those fistulas which failed (P < 0.005). Conclusions Reduced venous compliance appears to result in higher failure rates of AVFs. With the advancement of clinical tools such as speckle tracing ultrasound identification of vessel compliance in vivo may produce valuable additional information for clinicians planning AVF surgery.


Smith, G. E., Barnes, R., Chetter, I. C., Barnes, R., & Fagan, M. (2016). The Impact of Vein Mechanical Compliance on Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes. Annals of vascular surgery, 32, 9-14.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 5, 2015
Online Publication Date Jan 25, 2016
Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 4, 2016
Journal Annals of vascular surgery
Print ISSN 0890-5096
Electronic ISSN 1615-5947
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Pages 9-14
Keywords Surgery; Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine; General Medicine
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: The Impact of Vein Mechanical Compliance on Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes; Journal Title: Annals of Vascular Surgery; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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