Intermediate results of using spiral flow av graft: is it a breakthrough solution to a difficult problem?

In Abstracts from VAS 9th International Congress, April 15-18, 2015 Barcelona, Spain. J Vasc Access 2015; 16(2): 31 Hosam F. El Sayed, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, United States

AV access grafts are used in those patients where there are no available superficial veins for native AV fistula creation.  Their usable life and patency rates are far from being ideal requiring frequent interventions to maintain their use for dialysis. Their failure is usually related to neointimal hyperplasia leading to stenosis of the venous outflow near the venous anastomosis. Studies have shown that, Spiral laminar flow is the normal pattern of flow in most of the large and medium sized vessels in vivo as well as many functioning native AV fistulas. The Spiral flow graft has a design that creates a spiral laminar flow at the venous end that is a hypothetically reduces intimal hyperplasia and graft failure. We here report the midterm results of the largest reported series of using the graft in AV access.

Material & Methods
After IRB approval, a prospective study of using Spiral Flow graft for AV access in our institution between Jan 2012 to Dec 2014 was performed. Enrolled patients had no suitable superficial veins for native AV fistula creation. Patient demographics and comorbidities were recorded.

Kaplan Meier curve analysis was used to calculate patency rates compared to historic controls of straight ePTFE and heparin bonded grafts in our institution.

Complications were also recorded.

48 cases were included. The access site was the upper arm (32), the forearm (13), and chest wall (3). Mean age of 61 and mean follow up of 14 months. At 12 month, the assisted primary and secondary patency rates were 70% and 82%, respectively that was significantly better than historic controls using straight ePTFE and heparin bonded grafts in our own institution.

Complications included 4 graft infections; 3 severe steal syndrome, 4 seromas and 3 arm swelling. There were only 2 early graft failures.

Spiral flow grafts are a valid successful option for AV access.  One year results are superior to using straight ePTFE and heparin bonded grafts. This may be explained on the basis of the hemodynamic environment created by the spiral laminar flow and may be a significant contribution to preventing neointimal hyperplasia and hence AV access graft failure.