Aneurysmal Dilatation of Dialysis Arteriovenous Access

Ravish Shah* , 1, Tushar J. Vachharajani2, Anil K. Agarwal1
1 Division of Nephrology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
2 W. G. (Bill) Hefner Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salisbury, NC, USA

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Ravish Shah (Eds.) All rights reserved-© 2014 Bentham Science Publishers

* Address correspondence to this author at the Ohio State University, Division of Nephrology, 395 W 12th Avenue, Ground Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Tel: 614 293 6839; Fax: 614 293 3073; E-mail:


Arteriovenous fistula is considered the “ideal vascular access” in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD); however, its creation is not without complications. Aneurysmal dilatation is a poorly defined complication which, can potentially lead to access loss and life threatening hemorrhage. Increased venous pressure due to proximal venous stenosis along with repeated cannulations at the same site, are thought to play a significant role in pathogenesis. Given risk of substantial bleeding, it is recommended to avoid cannulation of aneurysmal area; however, as seen in our patient significant numbers of ESRD patients are at risk of being cannulated in the aneurysmal area. Nephrologist taking care of ESRD patients should be aware of its wide clinical spectrum along with signs of “unstable aneurysms” that would mandate an emergent surgical referral. Fistulogram often identifies a high grade proximal stenosis which can be treated by percutaneous angioplasty and perhaps halt the aneurysm progression. Although, endovascular interventions with stent graft placement can be considered in those with pseudoaneurysms related to arteriovenous grafts, it is often an interim measure in an attempt to prolong access longevity. With new surgical techniques and enhanced expertise, it is now possible to salvage the current AV access while simultaneously preserving the precious venous capital for the future AV accesses.

Keywords: Dialysis access, arteriovenous access, aneurysm, arteriovenous fistula, arteriovenous graft, pseudoaneurysm.