Assessment of Duplex Ultrasound Carried Out by the Vascular Surgeon After Locoregional Anesthesia for Preferred Arteriovenous Fistula Access

Published:December 20, 2021DOI:


      Preoperative vascular mapping by duplex ultrasound is required in construction of an arteriovenous fistula for hemodialysis (AVF). Due to venous vasospasm in cool temperatures and variability of the dialysis patient's blood volume, the conditions for performing this examination may be less than ideal. However, local regional anesthesia (LRA) resulting in vasodilation of the limb, can allow the use of veins considered to be of insufficient caliber during preoperative ultrasound mapping. The aim of this study was to assess the functionality of AVF when duplex ultrasound is performed by the surgeon following LRA. These results were compared with those from the preceding year, during which preoperative duplex ultrasound had been performed without LRA by vascular specialists, (Clinical Trial registration number: NCT 04978155).

      Materials and Methods

      This is a prospective study of all the patients having received AVF after systematic immediate preoperative ultrasound (US) under LRA (US-LRA group) in 2020. The initial surgical programming based on the Silva criteria was reported by a vascular medicine specialist. The change of AVF strategy following US-LRA was reported together with AVF usability and patency and compared to the results of the control group, in which AVF had been performed in 2019 without US-LRA.


      Ninety patients were included in the US-LRA group and 93 in the control group. Modified surgical planning was observed in 38% of cases (35/90) in the US-LRA group including more distal AVF in 28% of patients (26/90) and alternative target vein in 6.6% (6/90). AVF usability at 6 weeks was 80% (72/90) in the US-LRA group and 51.6% (48/93) in the control group (P < 0.001). Median follow-up was 12 months [IQR:9-15] in the US-LRA group and 13 months [IQR:9-18] in the control group. Primary patency at 6, 12, 18 months was significantly better in the US-LRA group (73.6% vs. 57.4%, 54.4% vs. 40.2%, 31.3% vs. 28.2%, respectively, P < 0.001). Assisted patency and secondary patency were comparable in the two groups.


      This study showed the benefit of having the surgeon perform US-LRA before starting the procedure, thereby allowing for more distal AVF, better usability and patency.
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