alexa Vein versus polytetrafluoroethylene in above-knee femoropopliteal bypass grafting: five-year results of a randomized controlled trial.
Surgery

Surgery

Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery

Author(s): Klinkert P, Schepers A, Burger DH, van Bockel JH, Breslau PJ

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Controversy still exists whether polytetrafluoroethylene is equivalent to vein as bypass graft material for the above-knee femoropopliteal bypass. Therefore, a prospective randomized trial was performed to compare vein with polytetrafluoroethylene for femoropopliteal bypasses with the distal anastomosis above the knee. METHODS: Between January 1993 and December 1996, 151 above-knee femoropopliteal bypasses were performed. The indications for operation were severe claudication in 120 cases, rest pain in 20 cases, and ulceration in 11 cases. After randomization, 75 reversed saphenous venous bypasses and 76 polytetrafluoroethylene bypasses were performed. RESULTS: No perioperative mortality was seen, and 5\% of the patients had minor infections of the wound, not resulting in loss of the bypass, the limb, or life. After 5 years, 38\% of the patients had died and 7\% were lost to follow-up. Only once was the saphenous vein necessary for coronary artery bypass grafting. Primary patency rates after 5 years were 75.6\% for venous bypass grafts and 51.9\% for polytetrafluoroethylene grafts (P =.035). Secondary patency rates were 79.7\% for vein and 57.2\% for polytetrafluoroethylene bypasses (P =.036). In the venous group, 14 bypasses failed, leading to five new bypasses. In the polytetrafluoroethylene group, 29 bypasses failed, leading to 16 reinterventions. For these 16 new bypasses, in four cases, the ipsilateral preserved saphenous vein was used. In both groups, one above-knee amputation and one below-knee amputation had to be performed. CONCLUSION: We conclude after 5 years of follow-up of this randomized controlled trial that a bypass with saphenous vein has better patency rates at all intervals and needs fewer reoperations. Saphenous vein should be the graft material of choice for above-knee femoropopliteal bypasses and should not be preserved for reinterventions. Polytetrafluoroethylene is an acceptable alternative if the saphenous vein is not available. This article was published in J Vasc Surg and referenced in Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery

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