Reality check: primary vascular access creation today.

Jann, Tabitha; Wyss, Thomas; Gahl, Brigitta; Kalicki, Robert; Uehlinger, Dominik; Widmer, Matthias (2018). Reality check: primary vascular access creation today. Swiss medical weekly, 148, w14668. EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag 10.4414/smw.2018.14668

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In Switzerland, the outcome of vascular access creation in the 4500 current dialysis patients is unknown, mainly because there is no prospective registry for patients undergoing vascular access surgery for renal replacement therapy. The aim of the study was to assess the quality of vascular access creation and to compare it with the current literature and guidelines, in order to define strategies to improve clinical outcome.


Retrospective single-centre study in a tertiary referral centre. All consecutive patients over 18 years of age undergoing primary vascular access creation between January 2013 and December 2014 were included. Follow-up data for at least 12 months were collected.


During the study period, 365 patients had a surgical intervention for renal replacement therapy. A primary vascular access was created in 74 patients (20%), who were further analysed in our study: 63 (85%) had an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) and 11 (15%) an arteriovenous graft (AVG). The intervention-free survival (primary patency rate) of the primary vascular access at 1 year was 46% (95% confidence interval [CI] 33-58%) for AVF and 30% (95% CI 7-58%) for AVG, with a secondary patency rate at 1 year of 75% (95% CI 63-84%) for AVF and 50% (95% CI 18-75%) for AVG. Twenty-seven patients (36%) with primary vascular access underwent central venous catheter (CVC) placement (tunnelled or non-tunnelled) before the access creation. Thirty-seven (50%) patients had their first dialysis through a CVC. Thirty-one patients (42%) never received a CVC.


The primary patency of vascular access was unexpectedly low, and the number of CVC requests unexpectedly high. In light of this, we consider it essential that centres creating vascular access should register their activities and compare their outcomes with current guidelines to check and improve clinical management. To facilitate this, there is an initiative starting in 2018 encouraging all Swiss vascular surgeons to provide data on vascular access interventions, including 1-year follow-up, in the national online registry "SwissVasc 2.0".

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Heart Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Nephrology and Hypertension

UniBE Contributor:

Wyss, Thomas (B), Gahl, Brigitta, Kalicki, Robert, Uehlinger, Dominik, Widmer, Matthias


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Daniela Huber

Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2019 09:38

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2024 14:28

Publisher DOI:


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