Reconstruction of rat femoral veins with microvascular prostheses.
Synthetic conduits have not been suitable for microvascular reconstruction owing primarily to their high thrombogenicity. Vein replacements are the most vulnerable to thrombosis because of their low shear rates and low pressure. Experimental replacement of microvenous segments with prosthetic segments has shown little success. Recent technological advances in biomaterials and control of thrombogenesis provide the potential for success in the development of venous prostheses. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of nonbiodegradable composite polyurethane microvascular prostheses for reconstruction of rat femoral veins. Rat femoral venous defects of 10 mm were reconstructed with autogenous vein (n = 12), unprocessed plain polyurethane (n = 5), and nonbiodegradable composite polyurethane (n = 31). Patency was evaluated by direct observation and proximal venous milking tests. The patency rate of composite grafts was not significantly different from that of isotopic vein (p = 0.5, Fisher's exact test), and both had higher patency than unprocessed polyurethane (p less than 0.01). Composite grafts were examined sequentially using light and scanning electron microscopy. Grafts were fully endothelialized between the first and third months. The neointimal, neomedial, and neoadventitial layers could be seen more distinctly over time. New opportunities in reconstructive microsurgery may be opened by microvascular prostheses that are complaint and thromboresistant.
Minn, KW; Serafin, D; Mikat, E; Klitzman, B
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