While the patency of vascular access is essential for hemodialysis patients, optimal pharmaceutical treatment to maintain arteriovenous fistula (AVF) patency remains lacking. As cardiovascular diseases are highly prevalent in patients with end-stage renal disease, various cardiovascular medications have also been used to maintain AVF patency. However, previous studies revealed inconsistent therapeutic effects and a comprehensive evaluation of this issue is needed. The present retrospective, longitudinal cohort study included patients receiving successful AVF creation. The evaluated cardiovascular medications included antiplatelet agents, antihypertensive agents, nitrates and nitrites, statins, dipyridamole, and pentoxifylline. The outcome was AVF primary patency. All laboratory data and medication profiles were recorded at baseline and followed at 3-month interval, until the end of the 2-year study period. Cox proportional regression model with time-dependent covariates was used to evaluate the risk for AVF patency loss. A total of 349 patients were included in the present study, in which 57% were men and the mean age was 65 ± 14 years. Among the included patients, 40% used antiplatelet agents, 27% used dipyridamole and 36% used statins at baseline. Of all the evaluated cardiovascular medications, only dipyridamole showed significant association with a higher risk for loss of AVF patency. To evaluate the effect of combination of antiplatelet agents and dipyridamole, the patients were classified into four groups, I: combine use of antiplatelet agents and dipyridamole, II: antiplatelet only, III: dipyridamole only; IV: none of both were used. Of the four groups, group IV exhibited highest AVF patency (52.4%), which was followed by group III (42.7%), group II (40%), and group I (28.6%), respectively. Compared with group IV, only group I showed a significantly higher risk for AVF patency loss. None of the cardiovascular medications evaluated in the present study showed a beneficial effect on AVF patency. Furthermore, dipyridamole showed an association with a higher risk of AVF patency loss. We do not suggest a beneficial effect of dipyridamole on maintaining AVF patency, particularly in combination with antiplatelet agents.
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