Cryopreserved venous allograft is an acceptable conduit in patients with current or prior angioaccess graft infection

The Vascular Low-Frequency Disease Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective The durability of cryopreserved allograft has been previously demonstrated in the setting of infection. The objective of this study was to examine the safety, efficacy, patency, and cost per day of graft patency associated with using cryopreserved allograft (vein and artery) for hemodialysis access in patients with no autogenous tissue for native fistula creation and with arteriovenous graft infection or in patients at high risk for infection. Methods Patients implanted with cryopreserved allograft for hemodialysis access between January 2004 and January 2014 were reviewed using a standardized, multi-institutional database that evaluated demographic, comorbidity, procedural, and outcomes data. Results There were 457 patients who underwent placement of cryopreserved vein (femoral: n = 337, saphenous: n = 11) or artery (femoral: n = 109) for hemodialysis access at 20 hospitals. Primary indications for allograft use included high risk of infection in 191 patients (42%), history of infected prosthetic graft in 169 (37%), and current infection in 97 (21%). Grafts were placed more frequently in the arm (78%) than in the groin, with no difference in allograft conduit used. Mean time from placement to first hemodialysis use was 46 days (median, 34 days). Duration of functional graft use was 40 ± 7 months for cryopreserved vein and 21 ± 8 months for cryopreserved artery (P <.05), and mean number of procedures required to maintain patency at follow-up of 58 ± 21 months was 1.6 for artery and 0.9 for vein (P <.05). Local access complications occurred in 32% of patients and included late thrombosis (14%), graft stenosis (9%), late infection (9%), arteriovenous access malfunction (7%), early thrombosis (3%), and early infection (3%). Early and late infections both occurred more frequently in the groin (P =.030, P =.017, respectively), and late thrombosis occurred more frequently with cryopreserved artery (P <.001). Of the 82 patients (18%) in whom the cryopreserved allograft was placed in the same location as the excised infected prosthetic graft, 13 had infection of the allograft during the study period (early: n = 4; late: n = 9), with no significant difference in infection rate (P =.312) compared with the remainder of the study population. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year primary patency was 58%, 35%, and 17% for cryopreserved femoral vein and 49%, 17%, and 8% for artery, respectively (P <.001). Secondary patency at 1, 3, and 5 years was 90%, 78%, and 58% for cryopreserved femoral vein and 75%, 53%, and 42% for artery, respectively (P <.001). Mean allograft fee per day of graft patency was $4.78 for cryopreserved vein and $6.97 for artery (P <.05), excluding interventional costs to maintain patency. Conclusions Cryopreserved allograft provides an excellent conduit for angioaccess when autogenous tissue is not available in patients with current or past conduit infection. Cryopreserved vein was associated with higher patency and a lower cost per day of graft patency. Cryopreserved allograft allows for immediate reconstruction through areas of infection, reduces the need for staged procedures, and allows early use for dialysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1162
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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