A pilot study comparing bovine mesenteric artery and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene grafts as non-autogenous hemodialysis options
Abstract Background Many dialysis patients do not have the necessary conditions for construction of a native arteriovenous fistula (AVF). Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) vascular prostheses are the most widely-used option, but it is known that they are inferior to native vein AVFs. Objectives To identify a graft with superior performance to ePTFE, comparing their results with those of AVFs made from bovine mesenteric arteries treated with L-Hydro technology (Labcor Laboratories ®). Methods A prospective and controlled study of 10 patients with AVFs constructed with ePTFE and 10 patients with L-Hydro bioprostheses, matched for comorbidities. The variables studied were: primary patency, assisted primary patency, and secondary patency, surgical manipulability, and prevalence of infections. The performance of prostheses was assessed by duplex-scan and repeated consultations with health professionals at hemodialysis clinics. The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis. Results After 1 year of postoperative follow-up, secondary and primary patency rates were higher for L-Hydro than ePTFE AVFs. Fewer interventions were needed to maintain AVF patency in the L-Hydro AVF group. The most common complication was graft thrombosis, which was more frequent in the ePTFE group. While the figures indicate more favorable outcomes in the L-Hydro AVFs, this could not be confirmed with the statistical treatment employed. Conclusions The L-Hydro graft appears to be a valuable alternative option for AVFs, since it seems to require fewer interventions to maintain patency when compared to ePTFE grafts.