New technology for hemodialysis vascular access
In the United States, hemodialysis remains the most common treatment modality for kidney failure, chosen by almost 90% of incident patients. A functioning vascular access is key to providing adequate hemodialysis therapy. Recently, major innovations in devices and technology for hemodialysis vascular access care have rapidly changed the landscape. Novel endovascular devices for creation of arteriovenous fistulas may offer a solution to the barriers encountered in initiating maintenance hemodialysis with a permanent vascular access rather than a central venous catheter (CVC). Furthermore, in the prevalent hemodialysis population, the minimally invasive endovascular arteriovenous fistula procedure should help improve long wait times for vascular access creation, which remains a major barrier to reducing CVC dependence. Bioengineered grafts are being developed and may offer another option to polytetrafluoroethylene grafts. Early studies with these biocompatible grafts are promising, as additional studies continue to evaluate their clinical outcomes in comparison to cryopreserved or synthetic options. Prolonging the vascular access patency with appropriate use of devices such as drug-coated balloons and stent grafts may complement the novel techniques of creating arteriovenous access. Finally, innovative solutions to treat stenosed and occluded thoracic central veins can provide an approach to creating a vascular access and allow patients with exhausted vasculature to remain on hemodialysis. The robust developments in hemodialysis vascular access are likely to change practice patterns in the near future.
Vachharajani TJ, Taliercio JJ, Anvari E. New Devices and Technologies for Hemodialysis Vascular Access: A Review. Am J Kidney Dis. 2021 May 5:S0272-6386(21)00053-6. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2020.11.027. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33965296.