Venous stenosis is one of the primary causes of the arteriovenous fistula (AVF) maturation-failure and is characterized by vasoconstriction and significant intima-media thickening (IMT). Although the hemodynamic endpoints are believed to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of venous stenosis, the exact mechanism behind this is unclear. Our hypothesis is that the changes in the pressure drop over time (Δp′) can influence the remodeling factors in AVFs: changes in luminal diameter (ΔDh) and IMT. Curved (C-AVF; n = 3) and straight (S-AVF; n = 3) AVFs were created between the femoral arteries and veins of 3 pigs. CT-scan and ultrasound were utilized to numerically evaluate the flow field, and thus pressure drop in AVFs at 2D (D: days), 7D, and 28D post-surgery. For each AVF, IMT was also measured at 4 histological blocks along the vein. For the C-AVF, the pressure drop consistently decreased over time (from 18.32 mmHg at 2D to 4.58 mmHg at 28D), while opposite trend was found for the S-AVF (from 12.91 mmHg at 2D to 24.49 mmHg at 28D). The Δp′ was negative at all the histology blocks for C-AVF which showed the reduction in the resistance over time due to dilation (positive ΔDh) and outward hypertrophy of the venous segment (positive ΔDh/IMT). In contrast, Δp′ was mostly positive for the S-AVF which showed the increase in the resistance due to vasoconstriction (negative ΔDh) and inward hypertrophy (negative ΔDh/IMT). Thus, measuring Δp′ at the successive post-surgery time points can provide important information on the remodeling behavior of AVFs. Also, creating AVFs in a surgical configuration that can result in negative Δp′ and thus favorable remodeling could influence the life expectancy of the dialysis patients.

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