Influence of arterial elasticity and vessel dilatation on arteriovenous fistula maturation: A prospective cohort study

Mufaddal F. Kheda, Lacie E. Brenner, Mittal J. Patel, James J. Wynn, John J. White, L. Michael Prisant, Steven A. Jones, William D. Paulson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background. Arteriovenous fistula maturation requires dilatation of the anastomosed artery and vein. The factors that affect dilatation and the mechanisms by which dilatation promotes maturation are not understood. This pilot study tested two hypotheses: that low arterial elasticity is associated with maturation failure, and that vessel dilatation is required for adequate fistula blood flow during dialysis.Methods. Thirty-two patients underwent preoperative measurement of small artery elasticity index, and pre-anastomosis measurement of artery and vein luminal diameters during fistula surgery. Fistulas were considered mature if they were used successfully in three consecutive treatments within 6 months. A mathematical model was used to determine whether vessel dilatation is needed for adequate fistula flow.Results. Six fistulas were excluded from analysis of maturation because dialysis did not begin within 6 months. Twenty-one of the remaining 26 fistulas were located in the upper arm. Six of 26 failed to mature, and all 6 developed stenosis. The average small artery elasticity index was lower in failed than in matured fistulas (2.25 versus 3.71 ml mmHg × 100, P = 0.02). Artery and vein diameters of the 32 patients ranged from 2.5 to 5.0 and 3.5 to 7.0 mm, respectively. When the diameters were applied to the mathematical model, predicted fistula flows ranged from 412 to 1380 mlmin.Conclusions. Low arterial elasticity is associated with stenosis and fistula maturation failure. However, vessel dilatation is not needed for adequate blood flow except at the smaller diameters in this study. We speculate that low elasticity promotes development of stenosis. Larger studies are needed to confirm these promising results and to determine whether therapies directed at improving elasticity can improve maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Arteriovenous fistula
  • Haemodialysis
  • Hemodynamics
  • Stenosis
  • Vascular access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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