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Agreement of surgeon’s choice of arteriovenous fistula with a vascular access selection app and correlation with one-year outcomes
Bright Benfor1, Kihoon Bohle2, Eric K. Peden1
1Houston Methodist Debakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, TX;2School of Engineering Medicine, Texas A&M University, Houston, TX

INTRODUCTION:The “My Vascular Access” app was created based on an expert-consensus and KDOQI guidelines to help guide access selection but has not been externally validated in the literature. The purpose of this study was to compare surgeons’ choice of arteriovenous fistula (AVF) to that recommended by the app and investigate impact on 1-year outcomes.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of subjects undergoing autologous AVF creation in our institution between January and May 2021. The type of access created was ranked as appropriate, intermediate, or inappropriate by the app, based on clinical and anatomical factors. Patients were then stratified into 2 groups (Group A = appropriate; Group B= inappropriate/intermediate) and their outcomes compared. The primary endpoint was access thrombosis.

RESULTS: Our cohort consisted of 89 subjects with a mean age of 64±15 years, of which 13% were in pre-dialysis. Preoperative vein mapping revealed a forearm cephalic vein diameter of 2.4±1.3, basilic vein of 4.3±1.8 mm and radial artery measured 2.4±0.7mm. Radiocephalic fistulas were created in 41 cases (46%) (Fig 1). The app rated 65% of AVFs (n=58) as appropriate, 21% inappropriate and 9% intermediate, but 4 accesses - 3 brachiobasilic and 1 brachio-brachial - were not ranked. The median time from access creation to cannulation was 2 months (1-3) and did not significantly differ between groups. On the other hand, freedom from access thrombosis was greater in group A (95±3% vs 74±8%; p=0.007) (Fig2). There was also a numerical trend toward a higher primary patency rate in Group A (46±7% vs 25±8%, p=0.08), with no significant difference in one-year cumulative patency (80±5% vs 73±9%, p >0.05) or access usage rate (75% vs 69%; p>0.05). One-year mortality rates were 8% and 7% respectively (p>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Our limited cohort demonstrates that adopting the vascular access selection app to determine the appropriateness of an autologous AVF could be associated with less risk of access thrombosis and primary failure, but this did not translate into a significant gain in access usage rate nor cumulative patency at 1-year. Larger studies are warranted to establish the correlation between adherence to this mobile app and outcomes.
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