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Pre-operative ultrasound mapping before arteriovenous fistula formation: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

J Nephrol. 2023 Dec 22. doi: 10.1007/s40620-023-01814-6. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Arteriovenous fistula represents the preferred vascular access for patients with kidney failure requiring hemodialysis. Surgeons have traditionally used physical examination to identify the most suitable vessels. This meta-analysis aims to evaluate whether ultrasound mapping should be routinely performed before arteriovenous fistula creation.

METHODS: Medline, Scopus, Web of Science and CENTRAL were systematically searched from inception to November 1, 2022. Randomized controlled trials and cohort studies comparing routine ultrasound mapping to physical examination in terms of arteriovenous fistula patency were included. Meta-analysis was performed by fitting random-effects models. The study protocol has been prospectively registered in PROSPERO (CRD42023402390).

RESULTS: Overall, 18 studies were included, comprising 3655 participants. Routine pre-operative ultrasound mapping was associated with significantly lower rates of primary arteriovenous fistula failure (Risk Ratio-RR: 0.56, 95% confidence intervals-CI: 0.37-0.84, low certainty). A significant outcome was observed by separately pooling randomized controlled trials (RR: 0.37, 95% CI: 0.25-0.54). Routine ultrasound mapping was also associated with significantly higher rates of 1-year primary arteriovenous fistula patency (RR: 1.33, 95% CI: 1.19-1.47, moderate certainty). This effect remained significant in the analysis of randomized controlled trials (RR: 1.26, 95% CI: 1.02-1.56).

CONCLUSIONS: Implementing routine pre-operative ultrasound mapping of vessels is associated with significantly better outcomes in terms of early arteriovenous fistula failure and primary patency rates at 12 months. Further research should confirm the long-term benefits of routine ultrasound examination and evaluate its cost-effectiveness in different populations.

PMID:38133741 | DOI:10.1007/s40620-023-01814-6

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