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Transfemoral Venous Access Facilitates Upper Extremity Dialysis Interventions: Procedural Success and Clinical Outcomes



To report technical success and clinical outcomes of transfemoral venous access for upper extremity dialysis interventions.

Materials and Methods

A total of 15 patients underwent a transfemoral venous approach for fistulography (n = 4; 27%) or thrombectomy (n = 11; 73%) over a 14-month period. Access characteristics, sheath size, thrombectomy method, angioplasty site, fluoroscopy time, radiation dose, technical and clinical success, complications, and post-intervention primary and secondary patency rates were recorded.


Access type included arteriovenous fistulas (n = 10; 67%) and grafts (n = 5; 33%). The most common configuration was brachio-brachial (n = 6; 38%). Mean age of access was 37 months. Mean prior interventions were 4. Right CFV access was used in all patients using 6–8-French (most common: 7-French [n = 10; 67%]) sheaths. Most thrombectomies (n = 11; 73%) required both pharmacologic and mechanical maceration (n = 9; 82%). All accesses required angioplasty to treat underlying stenosis at the outflow vein (n = 12; 80%) or arteriovenous anastomosis (n = 9; 90%). Mean fluoroscopy time was 26.43 min. Air kerma and dose area product were 178.06 ± 225.77 mGy and 57,768.83 ± 87,553.29 μGym2, respectively. Procedural and clinical success rates were 93% and 80%, respectively. Technical failure was due to persistent stenosis in one patient. Clinical failure was due to unsuccessful dialysis immediately following intervention in three patients. Mean post-intervention primary patency and secondary patency durations were 2.8 and 4.8 months, respectively. Primary patency rates at 1 and 3 months were 50% and 35%, respectively. Secondary patency rates at 1 and 3 months were 58% and 30%, respectively.


A transfemoral venous approach for intervention of upper extremity dialysis accesses may be a valuable adjunct to traditional approaches.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Arteriovenous fistula


Arteriovenous graft




Tunneled dialysis catheter


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Correspondence to R. N. Srinivasa.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was conducted with institutional review board approval and complied with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

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Wang, J.W., Padia, S.A., Lee, E.W. et al. Transfemoral Venous Access Facilitates Upper Extremity Dialysis Interventions: Procedural Success and Clinical Outcomes. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 42, 460–465 (2019).

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  • Transfemoral
  • Dialysis intervention
  • Declot
  • Thrombectomy
  • Fistulogram
  • Fistulography