Proximal ulnar artery arteriovenous fistula inflow is an uncommon but useful vascular access option



A proximal ulnar artery arteriovenous fistula (PUA-AVF) is a logical vascular access option when the distal ulnar artery is occluded or inadequate in addition to other specific vascular anatomic variants. This study reviews a series of patients where the proximal ulnar artery was used for AVF inflow in establishing a reliable autogenous access for these uncommon patients.

Materials and methods

All new patients referred for vascular access with a PUA-AVF created during an eight-year period were evaluated. In addition to physical and ultrasound examinations, all patients had an Allen’s test performed augmented with Doppler evaluation of the palmer arch. Analysis placed these patients into three anatomic groups: 1) A dominant radial artery with distal ulnar artery occlusive disease; 2) No cephalic or basilic vein option with an isolated and intact brachial vein originating from the ulnar vein for later staged transposition; 3) A proximal radial artery ≤2 mm in diameter and a normal Doppler augmented Allen’s test.


PUA-AVFs were created in 32 new patients during an eight-year period. Primary and cumulative patency rates were 80% and 94% at 12 months and 55% and 81% at 36 months. Follow-up was 2-62 months (mean 14 months). No patients developed steal syndrome during the study period.


A PUA-AVF is a safe and reliable autogenous access. It is particularly important when the radial artery is the only or dominant arterial supply to the hand, in patients with small but patent radial arteries, and in selected individuals requiring a brachial vein transposition.

J Vasc Access 2017; 18(6): 488 - 491




William C. Jennings, Alexandros Mallios

Article History


Financial support: No grants or funding have been received for this study.
Conflict of interest: WCJ is a consultant and stockholder with Avenu Medical.

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  • Department of Surgery, The University of Oklahoma, College of Medicine, Tulsa, OK - USA
  • Department of Vascular Surgery, Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, Paris - France

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