Vascular access steal syndrome

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Vascular access steal syndrome

In nephrology, vascular access steal syndrome is a syndrome caused by ischemia (not enough blood flow) resulting from a vascular access device (such as an arteriovenous fistula or synthetic vascular graft–AV fistula) that was installed to provide access for the inflow and outflow of blood during hemodialysis.


  • Pallor
  • Diminished pulses (distal to the fistula)
  • Necrosis[1]
  • Decreased wrist-brachial index (ratio of blood pressure measured in the wrist and the blood pressure measured in the upper arm), especially if below 0.6[2]


  • Pain distal to the fistula.



The fistula flow can be restricted through banding, or modulated through surgical revision.

Revascularization techniques[edit]

Banding techniques[edit]

If the above methods fail, the fistula is ligated, and a new fistula is created in a more proximal location in the same limb, or in the contralateral limb.


DASS occurs in about 1% of AV fistulas and 2.7-8% of PTFE grafts.[11][12]


Within the contexts of nephrology and dialysis, vascular access steal syndrome is also less precisely just called steal syndrome (for short), but in wider contexts that term is ambiguous because it can refer to other steal syndromes, such as subclavian steal syndrome or coronary steal syndrome.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Porcellini M, Selvetella L, De Rosa P, Baldassarre M, Bauleo A, Capasso R (1997). "[Hand ischemia due to "steal syndrome" in vascular access for hemodialysis]". G Chir. 18 (1–2): 27–30. PMID 9206477.
  2. ^ Shemesh D, Mabjeesh NJ, Abramowitz HB (1999). "Management of dialysis access-associated steal syndrome: use of intraoperative duplex ultrasound scanning for optimal flow reduction". J Vasc Surg. 30 (1): 193–5. doi:10.1016/S0741-5214(99)70192-8. PMID 10394170.
  3. ^ Asif A, Leon C, Merrill D, Bhimani B, Ellis R, Ladino M, Gadalean F (2006). "Arterial steal syndrome: a modest proposal for an old paradigm". Am J Kidney Dis. 48 (1): 88–97. doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2006.03.077. PMID 16797390.
  4. ^ Zanow J, Kruger U, Scholz H (2006). "Proximalization of the arterial inflow: a new technique to treat access-related ischemia". J Vasc Surg. 43 (6): 1216–21. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2006.01.025. PMID 16765242.
  5. ^ Minion DJ, Moore E, Endean E (2005). "Revision using distal inflow: a novel approach to dialysis-associated steal syndrome". Ann Vasc Surg. 19 (5): 625–8. doi:10.1007/s10016-005-5827-7. PMID 16052391.
  6. ^ J.C. West; D.J. Bertsch; S.L. Peterson; M.P. Gannon; G. Norkus; R.P. Latsha; Kelley SE. (1991). "Arterial insufficiency in hemodialysis access procedures: correction by "banding" technique". Transpl Proc. 23 (2): 1838–40. PMID 2053173.
  7. ^ S.P. Rivers; L.A. Scher; F.J. Veith. (1992). "Correction of steal syndrome secondary to hemodialysis access fistulas: a simplified quantitative technique". Surgery. 112 (3): 593–7. PMID 1519174.
  8. ^ Goel N, Miller GA, Jotwani MC, Licht J, Schur I, Arnold WP (2006). "Minimally Invasive Limited Ligation Endoluminal-assisted Revision (MILLER) for treatment of dialysis access-associated steal syndrome". Kidney Int. 70 (4): 765–70. doi:10.1038/ PMID 16816841.
  9. ^ Kirkman RL. (1991). "Technique for flow reduction in dialysis access fistulas". Surg Gyn Obstet. 172 (3): 231–3. PMID 1994500.
  10. ^ Anderson CB, Groce MA (1975). "Banding of arteriovenous dialysis fistulas to correct high-output cardiac failure". Surgery. 78 (5): 552–4. PMID 1188596.
  11. ^ Morsy AH, Kulbaski M, Chen C, Isiklar H, Lumsden AB (1998). "Incidence and characteristics of patients with hand ischemia after a hemodialysis access procedure". J Surg Res. 74 (1): 8–10. doi:10.1006/jsre.1997.5206. PMID 9536965.
  12. ^ Goff CD, Sato DT, Bloch PH, DeMasi RJ, Gregory RT, Gayle RG, Parent FN, Meier GH, Wheeler JR (2000). "Steal syndrome complicating hemodialysis access procedures: can it be predicted?". Ann Vasc Surg. 14 (2): 138–44. doi:10.1007/s100169910025. PMID 10742428.