March 12, 2009

Gold Standard for Dialysis Patients

For chronic kidney disease patients, both young and old, arteriovenous fistulas (AV) is the top choice for maintaining access to a patients circulatory system during life-saving dialysis.

An estimated 27 million people suffer from chronic kidney disease. Nearly half a million are being treated for kidney failure and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. In dialysis, a machine filters the blood outside the body to rid it of toxic waste products. An AV fistulas is a connection created surgically by joining a vein and an artery in the forearm. The connection allows blood from the artery to flow into the vein and that provides access for dialysis.

"One of the greatest challenges facing patients and their doctors is keeping an individual's vascular access graft open for dialysis," Andrew R. Forauer, M.D., an interventional radiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, was quoted as saying. "AV fistulas remain the gold standard of access for kidney dialysis patients. They last longer, need less rework and are associated with lower rates of infections, hospitalization and death than other types of access," he said.

SOURCE: Society of Interventional Radiology online, March 2009