The role of paclitaxel-coated balloons has been established in the coronary and peripheral arterial circulations with recent interest in the use of paclitaxel-coated balloons to improve patency rates following angioplasty of arteriovenous fistulas. To assess the efficacy of paclitaxel-coated angioplasty balloons to prolong the survival time of target lesion primary patency in arteriovenous fistulas, we designed an investigator-led multi-center randomized controlled trial with follow up time variable for a minimum of one year. Patients with an arteriovenous fistula who were undergoing an angioplasty for a clinical indication were included but patients with one or more lesions outside the treatment segment were excluded. Following successful treatment with a high-pressure balloon, 212 patients were randomized. In the intervention arm, the second component was insertion of a paclitaxel-coated balloon. In the control arm, an identical procedure was followed, but using a standard balloon. The primary endpoint was time to loss of clinically-driven target lesion primary patency. Primary analysis showed no significant evidence for a difference in time to end of target lesion primary patency between groups: hazard ratio 1.18 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.78 to 1.79. There were no significant differences for any secondary outcomes, including patency outcomes and adverse events. Thus, our study demonstrated no evidence that paclitaxel-coated balloons provide benefit, following standard care high-pressure balloon angioplasty, in the treatment of arteriovenous fistulas. Hence, in view of the benefit suggested by other trials, the role of paclitaxel-coated angioplasty balloons remains uncertain.
- arteriovenous fistula