MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Caitlin W. Hicks, M.D., M.S.
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Recipient of the Department of Surgery
Rothman Early Career Development Award for Surgical Research
Johns Hopkins Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Arteriovenous fistula are associated with better long-term patency, lower rates of infection, and lower long-term costs compared to arteriovenous graft. As a result, the Fistula First Catheter Last Guidelines recommend placement of an arteriovenous fistula over an AVG whenever possible.
We looked at individual physician utilization of AVF vs AVG for first-time AV access in Medicare beneficiaries. We found that the median physician utilization rate for AVG was only 18%, but that 21% of physicians use AVG in more than 34% of cases, which is above currently recommended practice guidelines.