The Transonic Hemodialysis Monitor uses ultrasound Doppler and ultrasound dilution (Transonic) as an addition to typical vascular access monitoring done in hemodialysis centers. The monthly transonic test shows the access blood flow. Knowing the access flow helps to watch out for blockage and measure the function of the fistula/graft in aid of making the access serve longer. This equipment is attached to the line while the patient is on dialysis as seen on the photo.
A fistula can last up to 35 years, however, maturation takes three to six months, in rare cases, can take up to a year which is too long to wait for someone requiring dialysis. For some patients, the fistula may never mature. Mine refused to mature. It was abandoned and a graft was placed instead.
Grafts have a lifespan of approximately 4 to 6 years but can last longer, up to 10 years with proper care. Thanks to Davita’s Transonic lady, Maria Tancioco, I get information that my 7 year old graft, through Transonic shows pretty good function. According to Maria the typical blood flow for graft is 500ml per minute, mine is consistently at 1400ml per minute as per recent test.
“Measurement of flow could reduce thrombosis, increase thrombosis-free and secondary patency in arteriovenous fistulas, and reduce vascular access-associated costs”. Vascular access maintenance such as Fistulagram, an X-ray procedure to check for blood clots or blockages and Fistuloplasty, a procedure to open blocked or narrowed fistula by stretching with a special balloon are expensive and painful.
The sad thing is that I’ve been with several different dialysis centers managed by different providers and I found the Transonic Hemodialysis Monitor only in Davita. That means a greater number of centers are not fully equipped.