The geometry of arteriovenous fistulas using endothelial nitric oxide synthase mouse models.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) maturation failure is a significant clinical problem in the hemodialysis population. Geometric parameters of human AVFs were associated with AVF development, but causative studies are lacking. We characterized mouse AVF geometry using endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) mouse models. METHODS: Carotid-jugular AVFs were created in NOS3 overexpression (OE), knockout (KO), and wild type (WT) mice. At 7 and 21 days postcreation, black-blood magnetic resonance images of AVFs were acquired and used to build three-dimensional reconstructions of AVF lumens. We used these reconstructions to calculate the lumen area, lumen centerline, and centerline-derived parameters: anastomosis angle, tortuosity, nonplanarity angle, and location of maximal distance between the feeding artery and AVF vein. Inter- and intrauser variabilities were also determined. RESULTS: When all mice were considered, increased minimum AVF venous lumen area was accompanied by increased venous tortuosity and increased distance between the artery and vein, with both remaining in-plane with the anastomosis. At day 7, the lumen area of AVFs from all strains was 1.5- to 2.5-fold larger than native veins. Furthermore, at day 21, AVF lumen in NOS3 OE (4.04±1.43 mm2) was significantly larger than KO (2.74±1.34 mm2) (P<0.001) and WT (2.94±1.30 mm2) mice (p<0.001). At day 21, the location of maximal artery-vein distance on the vein was further away from the anastomosis in OE (4.49±0.66 mm) than KO (2.87±0.38 mm) (p=0.001). Other geometric parameters were not significantly different between mouse strains or time points. Inter- and intrauser variabilities were small, indicating the reliability and reproducibility of our protocol. CONCLUSIONS: Our study presents a detailed characterization of mouse AVF geometry, and a robust protocol for future mechanistic studies to investigate the role of molecular pathways in AVF geometry. Identifying a geometry related to desired AVF remodeling can help inform surgery to enhance AVF maturation.
  • Authors


  • Animals, Arteriovenous Fistula, Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical, Mice, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III, Reproducibility of Results, Veins
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 23239269
  • Author List

  • Falzon I; Northrup H; Guo L; Totenhagen J; Lee T; Shiu Y-T
  • Start Page

  • 925
  • End Page

  • 935
  • Volume

  • 1
  • Issue

  • 9