Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Saphenofemoral arteriovenous fistula as hemodialysis access

João A Correa1*, Luiz Carlos de Abreu2, Adilson C Pires1, João R Breda1, Yumiko R Yamazaki1, Alexandre C Fioretti1, Vitor E Valenti23, Luiz Carlos M Vanderlei4, Hugo Macedo Junior2, Eduardo Colombari2 and Fausto Miranda5

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Cirugia da Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Santo André, SP, Brasil

2 Laboratório de Escrita Científica, Departamento de Morfologia e Fisiologia, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Santo André, SP, Brasil

3 Departamento de Medicina, Disciplina de Cardiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brasil

4 Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Presidente Prudente, SP, Brasil

5 Disciplina de Cirurgia Cardiovascular, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brasil

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BMC Surgery 2010, 10:28  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-10-28

Published: 18 October 2010



An upper limb arteriovenous (AV) fistula is the access of choice for haemodialysis (HD). There have been few reports of saphenofemoral AV fistulas (SFAVF) over the last 10-20 years because of previous suggestions of poor patencies and needling difficulties. Here, we describe our clinical experience with SFAVF.


SFAVFs were evaluated using the following variables: immediate results, early and late complications, intraoperative and postoperative complications (up to day 30), efficiency of the fistula after the onset of needling and complications associated to its use.


Fifty-six SFAVF fistulas were created in 48 patients. Eight patients had two fistulas: 8 patent (16%), 10 transplanted (20%), 12 deaths (24%), 1 low flow (2%) and 20 thrombosis (39%) (first two months of preparation). One patient had severe hypotension during surgery, which caused thrombosis of the fistula, which was successfully thrombectomised, four thrombosed fistulae were successfully thrombectomised and revised on the first postoperative day. After 59 months of follow-up, primary patency was 44%.


SFAVF is an adequate alternative for patients without the possibility for other access in the upper limbs, allowing efficient dialysis with good long-term patency with a low complication rate.