Medical Definition of AV fistula (arteriovenous fistula)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018
References
Kasper, D., et al. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine." McGraw-Hill Education/Medical. 19th edition. 2015