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Abstract

Problematic dialysis vascular access is a major health issue. The purpose of this study was to evaluate for potentially modifiable factors associated with access patency, particularly, the association of early postoperative, or maturation period, blood pressure with patency. A retrospective review was performed of patients who had undergone placement of an arteriovenous fistula or graft. Demographic, operative, and postoperative factors were evaluated for possible association with access primary patency using univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses. Seventy-three patients over a 3-year review period were examined. Overall analysis showed a significant association of absence of peripheral vascular disease, aspirin use, and absence of previous permanent dialysis access with higher primary patency rates. Fistula subgroup analysis showed that higher blood pressure during the maturation period relative to preoperative blood pressure was associated with lower patency rates. For grafts, race was significantly associated with patency, with blacks having higher patency rates than whites. Multiple clinical factors were found to have a significant association with dialysis access primary patency. The finding of an association of maturation period blood pressure with fistula patency suggests that the maturation period environment, specifically hemodynamics during this time, may play an important role in dialysis access patency.