Management of dialysis access-associated "steal" syndrome with DRIL procedure: Challenges and clinical outcomes

Javier E. Anaya-Ayala, Candace D. Pettigrew, Nyla Ismail, Ana L. Diez-De Sollano, Fahad A. Syed, Farhan G. Ahmed, Mark Davies, Eric K. Peden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: the distal revascularization Interval-Ligation (drIL) procedure has demonstrated efficacy in the management of dialysis Access-associated Steal Syndrome (dASS); however, this has not been widely used because of concerns about complexity, risk of ligating a native artery, and lack of long-term outcomes. Methods: retrospective review of all patients with DASS who underwent drIL procedure from March 2005 to August 2011. Indications, clinical considerations, bypass grafts, and patency rates were determined; complications, reinterventions, and factors influencing their outcomes were studied. Results: 33 patients, (70% women, mean age of 56 ± 13) with dASS underwent a drIL. Indications were ischemic pain alone in 12 (36%) patients, loss of neurologic function in 7 (21%), both ischemic pain and loss of neurologic function in 4 (12%) tissue loss in 7 (21%), pain during hemodialysis in one (3%), and "prophylactic" drIL during a Femoral Vein transposition (FVT) fistula in two (6%). technical success was 100%; Ischemic symptoms fully resolved by drIL in 24 of the 31 symptomatic patients (77%) and during the follow up period dASS did not develop in the subjects we judged at high risk and underwent drIL during FVT. one serious complication occurred because of early bypass thrombosis causing worsening hand gangrene requiring transmetacarpal amputation. the primary, assisted-primary, and secondary patency rates of the arterial bypass at 12 months were 65%, 75%, and 95% respectively. AV access primary, assisted-primary, and secondary patency were 29%, 85%, and 94% at 12 months. Conclusions: drIL procedure is effective at relieving symptoms in carefully selected patients, but does have potential complications such as bypass failure and worsened ischemia. DASS remains a complex clinical entity in that it is not fully understood, and deserves further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular Access
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • DRIL procedure
  • Hemodialysis access
  • Steal syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Nephrology


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