Vascular insufficiency from AV fistula

Revision as of 17:49, 13 March 2015 by Neil.m.young (talk | contribs) (ref added)


  • Steal syndrome = Distal hypoperfusion ischemic syndrome
  • Higher risk with more proximal fistulas[1]
    • 10–25% of brachiocephalic and basilic artery fistulas
    • 4.3–6% of forearm prosthetic implants
    • 1–1.8% of radiocephalic fistulas
  • Classically elderly woman with DM

Clinical Features

  • Distal extremity becomes ischemic due shunting of arterial blood to venous side
    • Exercise pain, nonhealing ulcers, cool, pulseless digits
  • 4 Stages
    • Stage I: pale/blue and/or cold hand without pain
    • Stage II: pain during exercise and/or hemodialysis
    • Stage III: rest pain
    • Stage IV: ulcers/necrosis/gangrene

Differential Diagnosis

AV Fistula Complications


  • Initial diagnosis is clinical
  • Confirmation by[2]:
    • Digital blood pressure measurement
    • Duplex ultrasonography
    • Transcutaneous PO2 measurement


  • Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA)
  • Surgery


  • Admit

See Also

External Links


  1. Tordoir JHM, et al. Upper extremity ischemia and hemodialysis vascular access. European journal of vascular and endovascular surgery. 2004. 27(1):1-5.
  2. Rutherford RB. The value of noninvasive testing before and after hemodialysis access in the prevention and management of complications. Semin Vasc Surg. 1997; 10:157–161.