Start clinical trials vascular access hemodialysis

Shortly, a large clinical trial will start in the Maastricht UMC in close collaboration with our research group Cardiovascular Biomechanics. A clinical trial involving around 400 patients in seven Dutch hospitals, funded by the Nierstichting.

Subject of the research is the location (wrist or elbow) of the connection between an artery and a vein (arteriovenous fistula, AV) for vascular access for hemodialysis. The location of the AV is currently determined by the physician using the status of the blood vessels, the medical history of the patient and the physician’s experiences. In 20-30% of the cases, there are complications which cause the AV to be unusable as vascular access. Examples of complications are a low blood flow after creating the AV making dialysis impossible, but also high blood flow which can cause heart failure or a deteriorated blood flow in the hand. To offer support with planning the most suitable location for vascular access, a computer model was developed that can predict the blood flow after creating the AV (read more about this method in this article). Expectations are that the blood flow predictions can contribute to the decision making of the physician, leading to a reduction of the number of previously mentioned complications.

Application of these computer models looks very promising and the clinical trial is a very important step from the research at the university towards application in the clinic and supporting the specialist in the hospital.

At the TU/e, the research group Cardiovascular Biomechanics of prof.dr.ir. Frans van de Vosse is involved in this research. The main researcher for the clinical trials is vascular surgeon dr. Jan Tordoir of the Maastricht UMC. The clinical trial is executed by Niek Zonnebeld (medical researcher MUMC) and Tommy Maas (Qualified Medical Engineer TU/e).