Complications associated with vascular accesses account for approximately 30% of hospital admissions for chronic hemodialysis patients. Long-term patency of access was evaluated in 76 patients, without diabetes mellitus, who had been on dialysis for at least 3 years and 41 patients, with diabetes mellitus, who had been on dialysis for over 2 years. Fistulas functioned longer than grafts (58 vs. 22 months, p < 0.01, in nondiabetics and 70 vs 22 months, p < 0.01, in patients with diabetes). Declotting or revision of restored graft function for short periods of time ( < 6-10 months) and subsequent declotting was ineffective. Infections were uncommon in grafts (1 per 13.5 years of dialysis) and in fistulas (1 in 200 years of dialysis).

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