Purpose: The durability of prosthetic arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) for hemodialysis is jeopardized by thrombotic occlusions due to intimal hyperplastic stenoses. In arterial reconstructive surgery, peripheral arterial bypasses with prosthetic material benefit from a venous cuff at the distal anastomosis. Therefore, a study was performed to assess the effect of a venous cuff at the venous anastomosis of PTFE graft AVFs in terms of stenosis development, hemodynamics and patency rates. Methods: A subset of 40 patients from a multicenter study were enrolled into the study, of which 20 patients were randomized for venous cuff interposition. Duplex measurements to detect stenoses and volume flows were performed at 6, 12, 26 and 52 weeks postoperatively. Relative distension (RD) and wall shear rate (WSR) were calculated by means of vessel wall Doppler tracking (VWDT). Results: The total number of stenoses was significantly less in the cuff group (21 vs. 33; p = 0.045). This feature was found at the site of the venous anastomosis (cuff 5; no cuff 12). Volume flow, graft and efferent vein diameters, RD and WSR in the graft and efferent vein were comparable for both groups. WSR in the venous anastomosis tended to be lower in the cuff group (768 vs. 1,448 s–1, p = 0.068).Volume flows and WSR were significantly lower in failing grafts. Patency rates were similar in both groups (primary patency 13 vs. 29%; secondary patency 78 vs. 67%). Conclusions: A venous cuff at the venous anastomosis of PTFE graft AVFs results in less stenoses, but improved patency rates could not be demonstrated.

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