We studied 117 inferior vena cava (IVC) replacements in dogs to determine the effects of graft material, graft size, endothelial seeding, and cultured endothelial linings on graft patency. As a control, the IVC was removed and reimplanted in 11 dogs. Dacron (n = 7) and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) grafts (n = 12) were seeded immediately with the use of enzymatically derived autogenous jugular vein endothelium. Cultured linings were prepared for e-PTFE grafts (n = 9) by inoculating the graft with jugular endothelium and nurturing the lining in tissue culture for 14 to 30 days before implantation. Unseeded grafts (n = 27) were prepared according to the manufacturer's recommendations. These six methods of preparation were tested in grafts measuring 6 mm I.D. and 60 mm in length. Other sizes were tested with a Latin square study design. After 30 to 60 days the grafts were perfusion fixed and studied with light and transmission electron microscopy. Patency was determined by contrast cavography after 7 and 30 days. Patency in the IVC reimplantation was 100% compared with 28.0% of the e-PTFE (p = 0.001) and none of the Dacron grafts that measured 6 mm I.D. and 60 mm long. e-PTFE and Dacron graft patency also differed significantly (p = 0.035). Seeded and culture-lined e-PTFE grafts in that same size were patent in 31.6% compared with 16.7% of unseeded e-PTFE. With grafts measuring 80 mm long, three of the five e-PTFE grafts were patent between 3 and 7 days. All progressed to occlusion by 30 days and compared poorly with all other graft sizes tested (2.6% progression to occlusion [p = 3 × 10-8]). Recanalization was not seen in 10 occluded grafts that were followed for 60 days. The histologic features of seeded grafts differed remarkably from grafts previously studied in the arterial circulation and from culture-lined and unseeded venous prostheses in that 60% had prominent large, random, endothelium-lined channels within the inner capsule. Larger graft diameters (p = 0.009) and the omission of an endothelial surface treatment (p = 0.004) were associated with anastomotic subendothelial fibrous hyperplasia. We conclude that graft material is the major determinant of patency in IVC replacements, that an extensive endothelial surface promotes patency, but that simply seeding e-PTFE or Dacron grafts with 105 endothelial cells does not provide sufficient endothelium to alter early patency. Graft dimensions are also critical to long-term patency and the development of subendothelial fibrous hyperplasia. Graft recanalization is not a major feature in the healing of synthetic venous replacements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine