Cryopreserved Femoral Vein Grafts for Difficult Hemodialysis Access

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Improved survival of patients with renal failure has led to the need for complex angioaccess procedures. The use of cryopreserved femoral vein for angioaccess when prosthetic arteriovenous grafts (AVG) could not be placed, owing to infection or the loss of conventional angioaccess sites from multiple AVG failures, was prospectively evaluated. Forty-eight cryopreserved femoral vein AVGs were placed in 44 patients. Thirty-eight (82%) of the cryopreserved femoral vein AVGs were placed for infection, whereas the other 10 (18%) were placed for multiple graft failures with compromised venous outflow. Even with implantation of the cryoveins into infected patients, there were no cryopreserved femoral vein AVG infections. The 1-year primary graft patency rate was 49% and the secondary graft patency rate was 75%. During the same time interval, 68 prosthetic brachial artery–to–axillary vein AVGs were placed. The 1-year primary and secondary patency rates for the prosthetic AVGs were 65 and 78%, respectively. In this study the overall patency rate of the cryopreserved femoral vein AVGs was similar to that for the PTFE AVGs (p = 0.519). In conclusion, the cryopreserved femoral vein proved useful in difficult angioaccess cases. The lack of infection after cryovein implantation around an infected area shows promise for salvaging an angioaccess site that would otherwise have been abandoned.


Presented at the Twenty-fourth Annual Meeting of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, Washington, DC, June 5-6, 1999.



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