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Vascular Surgery

Vascular Allografts and Infected AV Grafts

The Challenge

  • Up to 35% of AV grafts become infected1
Infected AV Grafts Remove Infected Graft

The Solutions: CryoVein® and CryoArtery®

CryoVein and CryoArtery may be placed directly into an infected field to allow healing and revascularization in a single procedure, saving potential future AV access sites.2,3

Allograft vs. Graft Excision

Allograft Method


Single procedure: save the site2,3

  1. Remove infected AV graft and implant allograft in the same infected site, saving potential future AV access sitesimage-Infected-AV-Grafts-Allograft-1
  2. Insert a temporary dialysis catheter and IV antibiotic therapyimage-Infected-AV-Grafts-Insert-Heart
  3. Access is possible within 10 to 14 days4,5


Graft Excision Method


Multiple procedures: lose the site2,3

  1. Remove infected AV graftimage-Infected-AV-Grafts-Graft-1
  2. Insert a temporary dialysis catheter and IV antibiotic therapyimage-Infected-AV-Grafts-Insert-Heart
  3. After the infection is cleared, perform another operation with a new AV graft in a different location, diminishing potential sites for future AV accessimage-Infected-AV-Grafts-AV-Graft
  4. Access graft at surgeon’s discretionimage-Infected-AV-Grafts-Access

Allografts for Treating AV Graft Infections

Re-infection Rates

CryoVein Femoral Vein Patients Treated for
AV Graft Infection
Follow Up
Lin et al.2 36 0% 1 Year
Matsuura et al.4 38 0% 1 Year
Matsuura et al.5 43 2.3% 2 Years
CryoLife Multicenter6 52 3% 2 Years

Cost Comparison

CryoVein Femoral Vein vs. Graft Excision7

Treatment Methods Patients Average Hospital Stay (p=0.001) Overall Hospital Cost
CryoVein Femoral Vein 20 2.3 days $13,843 ± $6,0007
Graft Excision 13 8.1 days $22,136 ± $12,665


Conclusion: “Cryopreserved femoral vein is a cost-effective means of treating infected AV grafts.”7

A CryoVein Femoral Vein Implant Technique for AV Access

To minimize the risk of arterial steal, taper the arterial end of the CryoVein Femoral Vein using an angled cut of the allograft and oversewing the heel of the graft with 6-0 polypropylene suture to create a 4mm2, 5mm5, or 6mm diameter.6

CryoVein Implant Tech

Learn More

Read the clinical update from the National Kidney Foundation about how cryopreserved allografts can effectively manage infected AV grafts.


  1. Akoh J. Prosthetic arteriovenous grafts for hemodialysis. J Vasc Access 2009;10:137-47.
  2. Lin P, et al. Management of infected hemodialysis access grafts using cryopreserved human vein allografts. Am J Surg 2002;184:31-6.
  3. Matsuura J. Cryopreserved human femoral vein: a new option for infected access grafts. Contemp Dial & Neph 1999:30-2.
  4. Matsuura J, et al. Cryopreserved femoral vein for difficult hemodialysis access. Ann Vasc Surg 2000;12:50-5.
  5. Matsuura J, et al. Hemodialysis graft infections treated with cryopreserved femoral vein. Cardiovasc Surg 2002. 10;6:561-65.
  6. CryoLife, data on file (ML0101).
  7. Matsuura J, et al. Cost comparison of CryoVein implantation versus graft excision in treating infected hemodialysis grafts. Presented at the 10th Annual Winter Meeting of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, Snowmass, CO. January 14, 2000.