Medical Definition of AV fistula (arteriovenous fistula)

Our Hemodialysis (Treatment for Kidney Failure) Main Article provides a comprehensive look at the who, what, when and how of Hemodialysis (Treatment for Kidney Failure)

AV fistula (arteriovenous fistula): an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein. This causes blood to flow directly from the artery into the vein, bypassing the capillaries that are located downstream of the fistula, resulting in a diminished blood supply. AV fistulas can occur anywhere in the body, but are common in the legs. Sometimes, an AV fistula is surgically created for hemodialysis access. Recently, nonsurgical, percutaneous procedures are being used to create AV fistulas for dialysis access.

Quick GuideHeart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes

Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes

REFERENCE: Kasper, D., et al. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine." McGraw-Hill Education/Medical. 19th edition. 2015

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.


Last Editorial Review: 10/18/2016

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors