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J Vasc Surg. 2003 Jun;37(6):1263-9.

Meta-analysis of polytetrafluoroethylene bypass grafts to infrapopliteal arteries.

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  • 1Vascular Surgery Section, Department of Surgery, Health and Medical Sciences Sector, Lusiada University Center UNILUS, Lusiada Foundation, Santos and São Paulo, Brazil.



Reports of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) bypass grafting to the infrapopliteal arteries have often used survival analysis of acceptable quality to describe a wide range of long-term results. In theory, these results may be combined if variability between series and time intervals is considered.


Meta-analysis was performed to gain insight into long-term graft patency and foot preservation after PTFE bypass grafting to infrapopliteal arteries.


Studies published from 1982 through 2001 were identified from the PubMed database and pertinent original articles.


Three investigators selected 43 studies that used survival analysis, reported 2-year patency rates, and included at least 15 bypass procedures. Data extraction and transformation: Based on standard life-tables or survivor curves, an interval success rate was calculated for each month in each series. The monthly success rates were combined across series, enabling construction of pooled survivor curves.


Random-effects meta-analysis yielded 5-year pooled estimates (SE) of 30.5% (7.6%) for primary graft patency, 39.7% (5.5%) for secondary graft patency, and 55.7% (5.0%) for foot preservation. During the entire follow-up, pooled estimates were slightly higher for series of PTFE grafts with adjunctive procedures compared with series of PTFE grafts only. Sensitivity analysis: A simulation using only unfavorable assumptions showed a decrease of less than 5% at 5 years for all outcomes, and smaller differences at subgroup meta-analysis. Funnel plots suggested that publication bias was unlikely.


This meta-analysis indicated moderate success for PTFE bypass grafts to infrapopliteal arteries, but the role of adjunctive procedures at the distal anastomosis remains uncertain.

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