• Unilateral femoral arteriovenous fistulas were constructed in New Zealand white female rabbits that were subsequently placed on a 1% cholesterol diet for two months. Experimental animals were divided into three groups: group 1 (N =7), the fistula remained patent for two months; group 2 (N = 7), the fistula occluded after the first month of the observation period; and group 3 (N = 6), the fistula closed after the first month, but the rabbits were maintained on the cholesterol diet for a total of three months. In group 1, 59% (±13%) of the surface area of the donor iliac artery had atherosclerotic lesions compared with 18% (±3%) of the contralateral iliac artery. A similar distribution of atherosclerotic lesions was noted in groups 2 and 3. Increasing arterial blood flow did not have a protective effect on the donor artery but seemed to promote atherosclerosis.
(Arch Surg 1982;117:1469-1474)