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Ann Vasc Surg. 2009 Nov-Dec;23(6):764-9. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2009.01.004. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Aortobifemoral bypass grafting using expanded polytetrafluoroethylene stretch grafts in patients with occlusive atherosclerotic disease.

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  • 1Vascular Surgery, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Universit√† Vita-Salute, Milan, Italy.


The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the performance of bifurcated, longitudinally extensible (stretch), expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) grafts implanted in patients with aortoiliac or aortofemoral occlusive atherosclerotic disease. Between October 1991 and December 2005, 822 consecutive patients (708 men, 114 women; mean age 63.8 years) underwent aortoiliac or aortofemoral reconstruction using a bifurcated ePTFE stretch graft. Preoperatively, all patients had ultrasonographic and arteriographic evaluations and were divided into groups according to the TASC II morphological stratification of iliac lesions. Seventy-seven patients (9.4%) had type B lesions, 314 (38.2%) had type C lesions, and 431 (52.4%) were classified as type D lesions. Endarterectomy of the aorta was required in 172 patients (21%); femoral arteries were endarterectomized in 222 (27%). Femoropopliteal bypass grafting was performed in 18 patients, aortorenal bypass in 12, and mesenteric artery grafting in one. One patient died perioperatively of a myocardial infarction. Perioperative morbidity included cardiac (2.2% of patients), respiratory (0.9%), and gastrointestinal (1.2%) complications, as well as acute renal insufficiency (1.3%). Seven patients had bleeding requiring surgical revision within the first 24hr after surgery. There were four cases (0.5%) of immediate graft thrombosis and five (0.6%) of single-limb graft thrombosis. During a mean follow-up time of 72 months (range 28-170), 58 patients (7.1%) were lost to follow-up and 205 patients (24.9%) died. The primary and secondary graft-patency rates during the observation period were 90.6% and 97.9%, respectively. Twelve late graft occlusions resolved after thrombectomy alone. Eleven cases of single-limb late thrombosis resolved after thrombectomy and profundoplasty. The limb-salvage rate during the observation period in patients who underwent operation for critical limb ischemia was 84.5%. There were nine postoperative graft infections (1.1% infection rate) in the series. Our long-term experience with ePTFE stretch grafts in aortoiliac and aortofemoral reconstruction shows that these prostheses have a high rate of patency and a low rate of graft-related complications.

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