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Cardiovasc Surg. 1998 Feb;6(1):19-26.

Patency of infrainguinal polytetrafluoroethylene bypass grafts with distal interposition vein cuffs.

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Center for Vascular Disease, Department of Surgery, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark 07103-2714, USA.


Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) prosthetic bypasses in the lower extremity have poor patency rates, particularly in limb salvage cases. Patency and limb salvage rates of PTFE bypasses supplemented by distal interposition vein cuffs were assessed in patients requiring revascularization for critical limb ischemia, in the absence of a suitable autologous saphenous vein. Between October 1993 and April 1996, 163 patients underwent 185 infrainguinal bypasses. Forty-three limbs in 42 patients (12 women, 30 men; mean age 67 years) did not have a suitable autologous saphenous vein (24%) and had femoropopliteal (20) and infrapopliteal (23) bypasses performed. Patients were examined prospectively at 3-month intervals during the first year and at 6-month intervals thereafter to determine graft patency and limb salvage. Postoperative anticoagulation with warfarin was used in 26 patients. Indications for operation included limb salvage in 41 extremities (21 rest pain/ulceration or gangrene, 20 rest pain alone), and disabling claudication in two. Patients were followed clinically for 2-30 months (mean 10 months). Cumulative 2-year life-table patencies for all grafts, femoropopliteal and infrapopliteal bypasses were 64%, 75% and 62%, respectively. Previous primary patencies at the authors' institution for PTFE bypasses without vein cuffs were 35%, 46% and 12% for the same categories. Cumulative life-table limb salvage for all PTFE/vein cuff bypasses in the present series was 76% compared with 37% in previous PTFE bypasses without vein cuffs. Adjunctive use of distal interposition vein cuffs improves prosthetic graft patency, while producing satisfactory limb salvage. Postoperative anticoagulation did not influence graft patency. PTFE/vein cuff for lower-extremity revascularization shows good 2-year patency and is an acceptable alternate conduit in patients with critical limb ischemia when autologous saphenous vein is absent.

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