A prospective study of the clinical outcome of femoral pseudoaneurysms and arteriovenous fistulas induced by arterial puncture

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Abstract

Purpose: Although spontaneous thrombosis of femoral false aneurysms (FAs) and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) has been reported, the frequency of this occurrence is unknown. This prospective study was designed to establish the natural history of FA and AVF and to evaluate factors that might predict eventual thrombosis of these lesions. Methods: Twenty-two patients with either femoral FAs (n = 16) or AVFs (n = 6) induced by percutaneous arterial punctures were evaluated prospectively. After an initial duplex scan, all patients were monitored with serial scans, either in hospital or weekly as outpatients, depending on the stability of the process. Operative repair was performed for the following indications: (1) a greater than 100% increase in size of a FA by duplex scan, (2) the development of symptoms, or (3) continued patency of the lesion after 2 months of observation. Results: Nine of 16 FAs and four of six AVFs closed spontaneously; FAs greater than 6 cm3 (1.8 cm in diameter) required repair more often (p = 0.065). However, size was not an absolute predictor of the need for repair because two small aneurysms (1.6 and 0.7 cm3) remained patent, although both patients were discharged safely from the hospital, and two large aneurysms (13.2 and 10.7 cm3) thrombosed spontaneously. Three of seven patients whose aneurysms required repair received anticoagulation continuously from the time of catheterization until repair became necessary. None of the patients whose FAs closed spontaneously were receiving anticoagulants at the time of thrombosis (p = 0.02). Neither length of the FA neck, velocity in the FA cavity, size of original arterial puncture, nor velocity in the AVF correlated with thrombosis. Conclusions: We conclude that (1) all FAs do not thrombose spontaneously and at least one third require surgical repair, (2) patients receiving continuous anticoagulation should undergo aneurysm repair, (3) discharge of patients with FAs less than 6 cm3 is safe (the majority of these FAs will eventually thrombose spontaneously), and (4) many AVFs close spontaneously and repair is not required unless symptoms or signs of progressive enlargement develop. © 1993.

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Kent, K. C., McArdle, C. R., Kennedy, B., Baim, D. S., Anninos, E., & Skillman, J. J. (1993). A prospective study of the clinical outcome of femoral pseudoaneurysms and arteriovenous fistulas induced by arterial puncture. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 17(1), 125–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/0741-5214(93)90016-F

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