Background: Radiocephalic arteriovenous fistula (RCAVF) is the best access modality to be considered initially when planning arteriovenous fistula (AVF) for maintenance hemodialysis. Considering the higher incidence of RCAVF failed maturation (M), it is important to perform proper preoperative evaluation and identification of high-risk patients. There has been no study on the influence of preoperative cardiac function on the M and patency of AVFs. The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether preoperative cardiac index (CI) is a predictor of M and primary patency of RCAVF. Method: A total of 365 end-stage renal disease patients undergoing RCAVF surgery were consecutively enrolled with a median follow-up time of 20 months in this prospective cohort study. Demographics, vascular diameters measured by duplex ultrasound examination, and CI measured by echocardiography, were analyzed for effect on RCAVF primary functional M and primary patency. Result: Patients in the group achieving primary RCAVF functional M had a significantly larger mean CI than the group with early RCAVF failure (2.93 ± 0.77 vs. 3.57 ± 0.76 L/min/m2, p < 0.001). The receiver operating characteristic curve was plotted and demonstrated that preoperative vein diameter and CI can predict failure of RCAVF M. The AUC of CI was higher (0.745 vs. 0.666). Multivariate regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, diabetes, preoperative dialysis status and vessel diameters, showed that decreased CI remained associated with increased risk of failure of M (FM) and worse primary unassisted patency. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis suggested that patients with CI <3 L/min/m2 had a worse primary unassisted patency rate at all time points compared with patients with CI ≥3 L/min/m2. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that preoperative CI was associated with RCAVF M and long-term patency. A decreased CI may be a possible predictor of an increased risk of FM and a shorter primary patency time.

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