Anticoagulation Therapy is Associated with Increased Access-related Wound Infections after Hemodialysis Access Creation

Andrew Kumpfbeck, Caron B. Rockman, Glenn R. Jacobowitz, Joanelle Z. Lugo, Michael E. Barfield, Larry A. Scher, Anjali A. Nigalaye, Karan Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The effect of anticoagulation therapy (AC) on hemodialysis access patency and related complications is not well defined. Patients on long-term or chronic AC due to their underlying comorbid conditions may be particularly susceptible to access-related bleeding and complications from repetitive cannulation. Our goal is to assess the effect of anticoagulation therapy on outcomes after access creation. Methods: The Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) database was queried for patients undergoing arteriovenous fistula (AVF) or graft (AVG) placement, from 2011 to 2019. Only patients with data on post-procedural AC status were included. Anticoagulation use was defined as patients on warfarin, dabigatran, or rivaroxaban after access creation at postoperative follow up. Demographic and procedural details were analyzed. Wound infection and patency rates at six months were assessed. Binomial logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association of anticoagulation use with these outcomes. Results: A total of 27,757 patients underwent access creation, with the majority undergoing AVF creation (78.8%). The average age was 61.4 years and 55.3% were male. 12.9% of patients were on postoperative AC. The wound infection rate was 2.3– 3.8% in the no AC and AC cohorts, respectively (P < 0.001). At six months follow-up, patency was 85.7– 84.3% in the no AC and AC cohorts, respectively (P = 0.044). Expectedly, grafts had lower patency rates compared to AVF; those within the no AC cohort had a patency of 83.0% compared to 81.2 % in those on AC (P = 0.106). On multivariable analysis, anticoagulation use was associated with a higher risk of wound infections (odds ratio [OR] 1.513, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.160–1.973, P = 0.002). AC use did not significantly affect access patency. Conclusion: Anticoagulation therapy was associated with a higher rate of wound infections but did not affect short-term access patency within six-months. These patients warrant close surveillance of their access for signs of infection. Furthermore, long-term implications of anticoagulation needs further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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