The porcine arteriovenous graft model is commonly used to study hemodialysis vascular access failure, with most studies using a bilateral, paired-site approach in either the neck or femoral vessels. In humans, left- and right-sided central veins have different anatomy and diameters, and left-sided central vein catheters have worse outcomes. We assessed the effect of laterality on arteriovenous prosthetic graft patency and hypothesized that left-sided carotid-jugular arteriovenous prosthetic grafts have reduced patency in the porcine model.

Arteriovenous polytetrafluoroethylene grafts were placed ipsilaterally or bilaterally in 10 Yorkshire male pigs from the common carotid artery to the internal jugular vein. Ultrasound measurements of blood flow velocities and diameters were assessed before graft placement. Animals were sacrificed at 1 week, 2 weeks, or 3 weeks. Patency was determined clinically; grafts and perianastomotic vessels were excised and analyzed with histology and immunostaining.

At baseline, left- and right-sided veins and arteries had similar blood flow velocities. Although internal jugular veins had similar diameters at baseline, left-sided carotid arteries had 11% smaller outer diameters (P = .0354).

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