Accuracy of physical examination in the detection of arteriovenous fistula stenosis

Arif Asif, Carlos Leon, Luis Carlos Orozco-Vargas, Gururaj Krishnamurthy, Kenneth L. Choi, Carlos Mercado, Donna Merrill, Ian Thomas, Loay Salman, Shukhrat Artikov, Jacques J. Bourgoignie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Physical examination has been highlighted to detect vascular access stenosis; however, its accuracy in the identification of stenoses when compared with the gold standard (angiography) has not been validated in a systematic manner. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: A prospective study was conducted of 142 consecutive patients who were referred for an arteriovenous fistula dysfunction to examine the accuracy of physical examination in the detection of stenotic lesions when compared with angiography. The findings of a preprocedure physical examination and diagnosis were recorded and secured in a sealed envelope. Angiography from the feeding artery to the right atrium was then performed. The images were reviewed by an independent interventionalist who had expertise in endovascular dialysis access procedures and was blinded to the physical examination, and the diagnosis was rendered. Cohen's κ was used as a measurement of the level of agreement beyond chance between the diagnosis made by physical examination and angiography. Results: There was strong agreement between physical examination and angiography in the diagnosis of outflow (agreement 89.4%, κ = 0.78) and inflow stenosis (agreement 79.6%, κ = 0.55). The sensitivity and specificity for the outflow and inflow stenosis were 92 and 86% and 85 and 71%, respectively. There was strong agreement beyond chance regarding the diagnosis of coexisting inflow-outflow lesions between physical examination and angiography (agreement 79%, κ = 0.54). Conclusions: The findings of this study demonstrate that physical examination can accurately detect and localize stenoses in a great ajority of arteriovenous fistulas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1194
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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