ASDIN Original Investigations: Inflow Reduction by Distalization of Anastomosis Treats Efficiently High-Inflow High-Cardiac Output Vascular Access for Hemodialysis


Eric S. Chemla, BSc, MD, Renal Transplant Unit, St Georges Hospital, Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0QT, UK, or e-mail:


The arteriovenous fistula used for vascular access for hemodialysis may contribute to development of congestive heart failure. Theses patients can present with frequent episodes of congestive hear failure. Traditional management of high-inflow, a high-cardiac-output fistula generally involves either closure or banding. Although high-output state can be controlled, the lifeline of the patient is lost. We describe a series of 17 hemodialysis patients (10 men and 7 women) in whom a novel inflow reduction method was employed. All patients had symptoms of heart failure (15 brachiocephalic fistulas and two brachioaxillary bypass grafts) and a fistula inflow rate above 1600 ml/min. The inflow reduction procedure included ligation of the brachial anastomosis and reconstruction of the fistula by using an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (Gore-Tex Intering) vascular graft in a bypass from the radial artery. The mean (± SD) time between fistula creation and the inflow reduction procedure was 30 ± 17 months. The mean access inflow rate decreased significantly after the inflow reduction procedure, from 3135 ± 692 to 1025 ± 551 ml/min (p =0.0001). The mean cardiac output rate decreased from 8 ± 3.1 to 5.6 ± 1.7 l/min (p = 0.001) with resolution of symptoms. During the follow-up period thrombosis or stenosis developed in seven patients, three of whom underwent surgical revision. Thirteen of the seventeen accesses (77%) subjected to the inflow reduction procedure remained patent. Access loss was due to failed fistuloplasty or thrombosis. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating that inflow reduction obtained by distalization of the anastomosis of the access fistula is feasible and safe for managing high-inflow, high-cardiac-output fistulas. Longer and larger studies of the inflow reduction procedure and its benefits are needed.