Normalized intra-access pressure (PIA), expressed as the access pressure/systemic blood pressure, detects venous outlet stenosis and correlates with access blood flow. General use of (PIA) is limited by time, special equipment needs, and cost. We therefore correlated pressure measurements from the venous drip chamber (PDC of Fresenius H-machines and from an external transducer, P**, for blood flows (BFR) of 0 to 400–500 ml/min. Measurements were conducted 2–3 weeks apart in a cohort of 33 patients. PDC = −21 + 1.28 P**; PDC = P$$ = 75 mmHg at BFR = 146 ml/min. The major determinant of P$$, at BFR = 0 was access type and venous outflow problems. The difference between P$$, and PDC (δ = offset) was 17 $$ 1 mmHg (range, 2–43); δ correlated with the height difference between the two sites. Differences in systemic blood pressure, zero calibration, and hydrostatic pressure accounted for 90% of the variance between replicate measurements of PDC. Detection of outlet stenosis was compared by using PIA calculated from P$$ and from PDC +17. Only three of 66 measurements using the latter produced misclassification, and never on replicate measurements. P$$, and PDC measurements in 62 additional patients showed a persistent offset of 17 mmHg. The authors conclude that PDC at BFR = 0 can be used to monitor prospectively prosthetic bridge grafts for stenosis as long as the offset for a particular dialysis machine is determined.
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