Mortality among hemodialysis patients remains unacceptably high in the USA, especially among newly diagnosed end-stage renal disease patients. Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease among HD patients. It has been shown that complications of the arteriovenous (AV) access are not just limited to overt infectious complications but they may also pose a threat as a haven for occult infection and can aggravate the chronic inflammatory state. This inflammatory state is characterized by failure to thrive, erythropoietin-resistant anemia, hypoalbuminemia, elevated plasma C-reactive protein levels, which are well-known risk factors for increased morbidity and mortality on dialysis. In this issue, Wasse et al. presents a paper that demonstrates in a large cohort that failed AV grafts are associated with increased chronic inflammatory markers. They have provided a mechanistic insight into the causes of the chronic inflammatory state among dialysis patients. Along this line, it has also been demonstrated that failed renal allografts are also harbors of a chronic inflammatory state and that the removal of a failed renal allograft will lead to resolution of both overt inflammation and subclinical inflammatory states. This suggests that in select dialysis patients the surgical removal of foci of chronic inflammation can have an impact on the overall inflammatory state and perhaps survival.