Introduction: Plastic cannulas have been used to cannulate arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) for hemodialysis (HD) in Japan for many years. However, the effect of early cannulation with plastic cannulas on AVF patency is not known. Objective: We analyzed the relationship between first cannulation time (FCT) and patency rates for AVFs cannulated with plastic cannulas and investigated whether early cannulation with plastic cannulas affects AVF patency. Methods: In total, 122 patients who underwent primary AVF construction were divided into an early cannulation group (FCT <10 days) and a late cannulation group (FCT ≥10 days). The Kaplan-Meier method and multivariable Cox regression models were used to investigate AVF patency. Results: Median FCT was 6 days. There was no statistically significant between-group difference in primary (p = 0.643) or secondary (p = 0.453) patency rates. Early or late cannulation was not significantly associated with primary patency (hazard ratio [HR] 1.21; 95% CI 0.71–2.05) or secondary patency (HR 0.46; 95% CI 0.08–2.77) after adjustment for age, sex, presence of diabetes mellitus or hypertension, and HD at baseline. Conclusions: Early AVF cannulation (<10 days from creation) with plastic cannulas does not affect access patency, and it may be possible to cannulate AVFs earlier than 10 days to decrease the need for use of a central venous catheter.

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