Arteriovenous fistulas and grafts for haemodialysis: what are they, how to examine them with ultrasound for preoperative mapping, monitoring and management of complications

Sofia Athanasiou, Demosthenes D. Cokkinos, Eleni G. Antypa, Ioannis Kalogeropoulos


Patients with end stage renal failure require vascular access in order to undergo haemodialysis. The two main types of vascular access are arteriovenous fistula (AVF) and arteriovenous graft (AVG), which are mainly imaged with ultrasound. This article reviews advantages and disadvantages of AVF and AVG and describes preoperative ultrasound mapping of arteries and veins for creating vascular access, as well as assessing fistula and graft adequacy. Surgical aspects and complications of both techniques, as well as their management are described.

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