This study was initiated to investigate the use of the Gianturco intravascular stent in prolonging dialysis access graft patency after angioplasty. Stents were placed in 25 patients with follow-up to date of 0.5–8 months. The stent used was 1.5 χ 3 cm and consisted of two units connected by a single strut. In Phase 1, the strut was rigid, and the stent had no barbs. The rigidity of the stent and stent migration caused problems. In Phase 2, an articulated strut design was used, and in Phase 3, barbs were added. These modifications solved the previously noted problems. No anticoagulation was used, and clotting was not a significant problem. The duration of patency for the total group was not significantly better than for control groups. However, there were no losses with the modified stent design used in Phases 2 and 3 with follow-up to date of 0.5–5.5 months. Further study of this treatment modality appears warranted.
©1991 American Society of Artificial Internal Organs