Background: There are controversies regarding the feasibility of autogenous vascular access creation in elderly hemodialysis (HD) patients. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the results of creating different types of autogenous arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) in a consecutive series of HD patients over 75 years of age. Methods: The analysis was performed in 131 patients (65 females, 66 males, average age 79.1 ± 3.6 years) in whom the creation of an autogenous AVF was considered within a 6-year period (February 1998 to February 2004). Among them, 26.7%were diabetics, 66.3% had hypertension, 30.7% were smokers, and 35.6% were obese. Patient survival and primary and secondary AVF patency were assessed. Results: The survival rates for patients were 94, 88, 66, and 45% at 6 months and at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Successful autogenous AVF formation was finally achieved in 107 patients (81.6%): in 99 patients in the forearm and in 8in the upper arm. A Kaplan-Meier analysis showed primary AVF patency rates of: 74 ± 4.3% (± SE) at 1 month; 70 ± 4.7% at 6 months; 59 ± 4.9% at 1 year; 59 ± 4.9% at 2 years; 59± 4.9% at 3 years; 59 ± 4.9% at 4 years, and 58 ± 4.9% at 5 years. The secondary patency rates were: 95 ± 2.0; 92 ± 2.2; 84 ± 3.3; 79 ± 4.0; 72 ± 4.3; 71 ± 4.4, and 69 ± 4.5% in the corresponding periods, respectively. All postoperative complications in 10 patients were treated surgically, if applicable, without endovascular techniques. Conclusions: By exploiting all suitable types of autogenous AVF it is possible to establish the best form of vascular access even in the majority of elderly patients.

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