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Back to the Future: How Biology and Technology Could Change the Role of PTFE Grafts in Vascular Access Management


Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD, PhD, Division of Nephrology, University of Cincinnati, MSB G251 6009, 231, Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0585, Tel.: (513) 558-4006, Fax: (513) 558-4309, or e-mail:


Although the arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the preferred mode of dialysis vascular access, AVF maturation failure remains a huge clinical problem, often resulting in a prolonged duration of use of tunneled dialysis catheters. In contrast, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts do not suffer from early failure, but have significant problems with later stenosis and thrombosis. This review will initially summarize the pathology and pathogenesis of PTFE graft dysfunction and will then use this as a basis for describing some novel therapies, which may have the potential to reduce PTFE graft dysfunction. Finally, we will emphasize that the introduction of such therapies could be an important first step toward individualizing overall vascular access care.