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Can J Surg. 1979 Mar;22(2):154-5, 158.

Polytetrafluoroethylene grafts for vascular access for hyperalimentation.


A polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft from the brachial artery to the axillary vein may provide a safe and trouble-free means of vascular access in selected patients requiring long-term intravenous feeding in the hospital setting. This route for the administration of solutions supplying total parenteral nutrition (TPN) should be considered in persons whose requirement for parenteral feeding is likely to extend over many months and in whom there are other sources of bacteremia which can imitate or be confused with infection of a conventional central venous feeding line. In a 52-year-old man an 8-mm PTFE graft was anastomosed end-to-side to the brachial artery and the axillary vein and brought through a subcutaneous tunnel on the medial aspect of the upper arm. Access to it was obtained by intermittent puncture with a no. 21 butterfly needle. Hyperosmolar TPN solutions flowed easily by gravity drip into the shunt. The graft seemed resistant to infection. This form of vascular access appears to exclude parenteral feeding lines, solutions and catheters as sources of sepsis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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