Recently we designed an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE)-based local infusion device that delivers therapeutic agents directly through the graft wall in the region adjacent to the upstream anastomosis, thereby achieving a high drug concentration downstream along the graft-blood interface. In this study we evaluated the effects of infusing heparin by this method on graft patency and neointimal hyperplasia in a canine model of femoral vein replacement. Five dogs underwent bilateral femoral vein replacement with the device. In each case one graft was infused with continuous heparin (48 U/kg/day) while the contralateral control graft received phosphate-buffered saline solution for 14 days. All heparin-treated grafts were patent and all control grafts were thrombosed at 14 days. There was no significant difference in systemic activated partial thromboplastin time among samples taken preoperatively, at 48 hours, and at 14 days of implantation (p > 0.5). There was no significant difference in neointimal hyperplasia between the upstream and downstream anastomoses in heparin- treated grafts. These data demonstrate that the transgraft infusion of heparin preserved venous ePTFE graft patency without measurable systemic anticoagulation. Thus this approach may represent an attractive strategy for maintaining patency of synthetic venous grafts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine