Evolution of hemodialysis access resistance: A longitudinal 5-year model using functional principal components analysis

Andrew I Chin, William R. Raffo, Xiaowei Yang, James R. Madison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Arteriovenous fistulae (AVF) and grafts (AVG) are the preferred accesses in hemodialysis (HD). By monitoring Access Resistance (AR) one can potentially identify problems with an established HD access, but little is known about how these changes in AR occur, or the variations between the two access types as they mature longitudinally. We postulated that AR evolves differentially between AVF and AVG, a critical aspect to further understanding of the natural history of HD accesses. To describe these changes, we applied a novel statistical methodology of Functional Principal Component (FPC) analysis. Methods: Using ultrasound dilution flow studies, we retrospectively studied 479 functional HD accesses in which a total of 4573 assessments were made. Accounting for patient factors of age, race, gender and diabetes mellitus (DM) status, we employed a multivariate, mixed-effects model. Using the mean effects of those covariates, we then applied FPC analyses to assess the longitudinal, time-dependent changes between AVFs and AVGs over a 5-year period. Results: Both types of upper-arm access were associated with a lower initial AR. Older age and DM were associated with a higher AR. Longitudinal AR varied significantly for both AVF and AVG, between the upper arm and lower arm. As a function of time, AVG was associated with an increasing AR. Conversely, AVF, especially upper-arm ones, demonstrated a longitudinal drop in AR. Conclusions: Evolutionally, AR can be predicted not only by the type of access, but also by the location along the arm of that access and by clinical patient factors. Longitudinal change in Ar does differ between AVG and AVF. Our report provides the foundation of observed changes over time and provides insight as to how these variations are affected. We endorse ongoing surveillance to screen for clinical sequelae, even years from initial placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)864-871
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2009


  • Fistula
  • Graft
  • Hemodialysis
  • Longitudinal
  • Principal components analysis
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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