Medical engineering & physics | 4 Apr 2014
M Boghosian, K Cassel, M Hammes, B Funaki, S Kim, X Qian, X Wang, P Dhar and J Hines
The care and outcome of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) on chronic hemodialysis is directly dependent on their hemodialysis access. A brachiocephalic fistula (BCF) is commonly placed in the elderly and in patients with a failed lower-arm, or radiocephalic, fistula. However, there are numerous complications such that the BCF has an average patency of only 3.6 years. A leading cause of BCF dysfunction and failure is stenosis in the arch of the cephalic vein near its junction with the axillary vein, which is called cephalic arch stenosis (CAS). Using a combined clinical and computational investigation, we seek to improve our understanding of the cause of CAS, and to develop a means of predicting CAS risk in patients with a planned BCF access. This paper details the methodology used to determine the hemodynamic consequences of the post-fistula environment and illustrates detailed results for a representative sample of patient-specific anatomies, including a single, bifurcated, and trifurcated arch. It is found that the high flows present due to fistula creation lead to secondary flows in the arch owing to its curvature with corresponding low wall shear stresses. The abnormally low wall shear stress locations correlate with the development of stenosis in the singular case that is tracked in time for a period of one year.
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