Is the preferential use of polytetrafluoroethylene grafts for femoropopliteal bypass justified?

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The objective of this review is to analyze the long-term results of femoropopliteal bypass done preferentially with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts in patients who presumably had saphenous vein available. The results are analyzed according to preoperative variables in an attempt to determine those instances in which PTFE grafts may be preferred for the first reconstruction and to identify those patients who benefited from vein preservation. From 1979 to 1985, 146 femoropopliteal bypass operations were performed in 120 patients with 6 mm PTFE grafts used preferentially. The results with follow-up at 5 years are analyzed by actuarial methods. The patency rate at hospital discharge was 100%. The overall primary patency rate at 5 year was 57%. Reconstructions above the knee (101) and below the knee (45) had significantly different 5-year patency rates (63% vs 44%, p < 0.03). Sixty-two reconstructions done to alleviate disabling claudication had a 5-year primary patency rate of 69% and no amputations. Eighty-one reconstructions were done to treat critical ischemia with a 5-year patency rate of 49% and a 5-year foot salvage rate of 73%. When secondary operations were required to treat graft failures, the 4-year cumultive patency rate of the secondary reconstruction was 18% when performed with a prosthetic graft, in contrast to 70% when performed with the spared saphenous vein. We conclude that femoropopliteal reconstruction with PTFE grafts is a reasonable alternative for older patients with disabling claudication. Patients with critical ischemia will likely benefit from preservation of the vein with initial femoropopliteal reconstruction done with PTFE. Staged infrainguinal revascularization for foot salvage may improve present results. In this regard the sequence PTFE-then-vein carries a higher predicted patency rate than the sequence vein-then-PTFE. © 1988.




Quiñones-Baldrich, W. J., Busuttil, R. W., Baker, J. D., Vescera, C. L., Ahn, S. S., Machleder, H. I., & Moore, W. S. (1988). Is the preferential use of polytetrafluoroethylene grafts for femoropopliteal bypass justified? Journal of Vascular Surgery, 8(3), 219–228.

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