One hundred bovine carotid artery shunts were implanted for vascular access in chronic hemodialysis patients. Seventy-two percent of patients have continued to have functioning bovine artery shunts, but complications have required repeated attention. Forty-six percent of patients have bovine grafts functioning without problems, 26% have grafts functioning but with various problems, and 17% have had failure of the graft. Specific complications unique to this method of vascular access include infections at the "dialysis puncture" sites, hematomas and false aneurysms at these sites, edema of the arm, pseudodiaphragm formation at the venous anastomosis, and pseudointima formation with dissection. Despite these, the authors believe this method of arteriovenous shunt for chronic hemodialysis patients has definite indications and can be considered a positive adjunct in this new field of medicine and surgery.
Merickel JH, Andersen RC, Knutson R, Lipschultz ML, Hitchcock CR. Bovine Carotid Artery Shunts in Vascular Access SurgeryComplications in the Chronic Hemodialysis Patient. Arch Surg. 1974;109(2):245-250. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360020107020