Outcomes of upper arm axillary artery and brachial artery arteriovenous grafts

Sarah Ali Fermawi, Rueshil Fadia, Chyi Chyi Chong, Scott Berman, Denis Rybin, Jeffrey J. Siracuse, Wei Zhou, Tze Woei Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We compared the outcomes of upper arm arteriovenous grafts (AVGs) in a large, prospectively collected data set to determine if there are clinically significant differences in axillary artery-based and brachial artery-based AVGs. Methods: Patients who received upper arm AVGs within the Society of Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) dataset were identified. The primary outcome measures were primary and secondary patency loss at 12-month follow-up. Other outcomes included were wound infection, steal syndrome, and arm swelling at 6-month follow-up. The log-rank test was used to evaluate patency loss using Kaplan–Meier analysis, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine adjusted association between inflow artery (brachial artery vs axillary artery) and outcomes, adjusting for configuration (straight vs looped). Results: Among 3637 upper extremity AVGs in the VQI (2010-2017), there were 510 upper arm brachial artery AVGs and 394 upper arm axillary artery AVGs. Patients with axillary artery AVGs were more likely to be female (72% vs 56%, p < 0.001) and underwent general anesthesia (61% vs 57%, p < 0.05). In univariable analysis, the 12-month primary patency (54% vs 63%, p = 0.03) and secondary patency (81% vs 89%, p = 0.007) were lower for axillary artery AVGs than upper arm brachial artery AVGs. In multivariable analysis, although wound infection and arm swelling were similar at 6-month follow up, axillary artery AVGs were more likely to have steal syndrome (adjusted Hazard Ratio (aHR) = 2.6, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.2,5.6, p = 0.017). In addition, axillary artery AVGs were associated with higher rates of 12-month primary patency loss (aHR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.2–2.2, p = 0.002) and 12-month secondary patency loss (aHR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.3–3.3, p = 0.005). Conclusions: From this observational study analyzing the outcomes of upper extremity hemodialysis access, axillary artery AVGs were associated with significantly lower patency rates and higher risk of steal syndrome than brachial artery AVGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Vascular Access
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Upper extremity arteriovenous graft
  • axillary AVG
  • brachial AVG
  • prosthetic vascular access
  • upper arm AVG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Nephrology


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