Susceptibility of ePTFE vascular grafts and bioengineered human acellular vessels to infection.
BACKGROUND: Synthetic expanded polytetrafluorethylene (ePTFE) grafts are routinely used for vascular repair and reconstruction but prone to sustained bacterial infections. Investigational bioengineered human acellular vessels (HAVs) have shown clinical success and may confer lower susceptibility to infection. Here we directly compared the susceptibility of ePTFE grafts and HAV to bacterial contamination in a preclinical model of infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sections (1 cm2) of ePTFE (n = 42) or HAV (n = 42) were inserted within bilateral subcutaneous pockets on the dorsum of rats and inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus (107 CFU/0.25 mL) or Escherichia coli (108 CFU/0.25 mL) before wound closure. Two weeks later, the implant sites were scored for abscess formation and explanted materials were halved for quantification of microbial recovery and histological analyses. RESULTS: The ePTFE implants had significantly higher abscess formation scores for both S. aureus and E. coli inoculations compared to that of HAV. In addition, significantly more bacteria were recovered from explanted ePTFE compared to HAV. Gram staining of explanted tissue sections revealed interstitial bacterial contamination within ePTFE, whereas no bacteria were identified in HAV tissue sections. Numerous CD45+ leukocytes, predominantly neutrophils, were found surrounding the ePTFE implants but minimal intact neutrophils were observed within the ePTFE matrix. The host cells surrounding and infiltrating the HAV explants were primarily nonleukocytes (CD45-). CONCLUSIONS: In an established animal model of infection, HAV was significantly less susceptible to bacterial colonization and abscess formation than ePTFE. The preclinical findings presented in this manuscript, combined with previously published clinical observations, suggest that bioengineered HAV may exhibit low rates of infection.
Kirkton, RD; Prichard, HL; Santiago-Maysonet, M; Niklason, LE; Lawson, JH; Dahl, SLM
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