Early cannulation grafts for haemodialysis: a systematic review

Julien Al Shakarchi (Lead / Corresponding author), Graeme Houston, Nicholas Inston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    58 Citations (Scopus)


    PURPOSE: Arteriovenous grafts have advantages compared with central venous catheters for dialysis access and guidelines suggest their use as second choice after arteriovenous fistulas. Standard practice with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) grafts has been to avoid cannulation for 2 weeks following placement, but new generation grafts have been marketed for their early cannulation properties allowing use as an alternative to central venous catheters for prompt access. The aim of this review is to search the current literature for evidence of early cannulation of new generation grafts and to assess their patency and complication rates.

    METHODS: Electronic databases were searched for studies assessing the use of early cannulation grafts for dialysis in accordance with PRISMA. The primary outcomes for this study were primary patency rate, primary-assisted patency rate and secondary patency rate. Secondary outcomes were timing of first cannulation, rates of access thrombosis, steal syndrome, pseudo-aneurysm and infection.

    RESULTS: Following strict inclusion/exclusion criteria by two reviewers, 15 studies were included in our review and divided into the different types of graft. Flixene, Avflo, Rapidax and Acuseal grafts showed that early cannulation within 72 h was possible; there was no evidence of the use of Vectra within 2 weeks of placement. All grafts showed similar patency and complication rates as previously published data on standard ePTFE grafts.

    CONCLUSION: Our review showed that early cannulation is possible without detriment, but data did not allow specific graft recommendations. Therefore, we feel that a multicentre, randomised controlled trial is necessary to compare early cannulation grafts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)493-497
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Vascular Access
    Issue number6
    Early online date12 Jun 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015


    • Aneurysm, False
    • Arteriovenous shunt, Surgical
    • Blood vessel prosthesis
    • Blood vessel prosthesis implantation
    • Catheterization
    • Graft Occlusion, Vascular
    • Humans
    • Prosthesis design
    • Prosthesis-related infections
    • Renal Dialysis
    • Risk factors
    • Thrombosis
    • Treatment outcome
    • Vascular patency
    • Journal article
    • Research support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    • Review


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