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Study Strengthens Case for Drug-Coated Balloons for Dysfunctional AV Fistulas

  • 1 Ruth Jessen Hickman, MD, is a freelance medical and science writer in Bloomington, IN.
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A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine may shift the balance for clinicians who are considering the use of drug-coated balloons (DCBs) for treating dysfunctional dialysis arteriovenous (AV) fistulas (1). The improved rates of fistula patency and reassuring data on safety underscore the potential of this technology to improve patients’ lives and reduce healthcare expenditures.

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with standard balloons is currently the recommended treatment for dysfunctional hemodialysis fistulas. A balloon is inserted into the dialysis shunt and inflated in a stenotic area to stretch the vessel and restore normal flow. Although

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