Purpose Intimal hyperplasia and graft thrombosis are major causes of graft failure. Heparin prolongs graft patency and inhibits neointimal hyperplasia in animal models. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a heparin-coated expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) graft on platelet deposition and anastomotic neointimal hyperplasia after aortoiliac bypass grafting in a baboon model. Methods Heparin-coated ePTFE grafts (4-mm diameter) were incorporated into exteriorized femoral arteriovenous shunts placed in five baboons. Platelet deposition was analyzed by measuring the accumulation of indium 111-labeled platelets on the grafts, with dynamic scintillation camera imaging. Eight adult male baboons (mean weight, 9.3 kg) underwent bilateral aortoiliac bypass grafting with ePTFE grafts (4-mm internal diameter). In each animal a heparin-coated ePTFE graft was placed in one aortoiliac artery, and an uncoated graft, which served as the control, was placed in the contralateral aortoiliac artery. All grafts were harvested at 4 weeks, and were analyzed quantitatively for neointimal hyperplasia at graft-vessel anastomoses. Results Early platelet deposition on heparin-coated grafts after 1 to 4 hours of ex vivo circuitry was significantly reduced. All the harvested aortoiliac grafts were patent at 4 weeks. There was a significant reduction in neointimal area at both proximal (0.26 ± 0.11 mm2) and distal (0.29 ± 0.14 mm2) anastomoses in the heparin-coated grafts, compared with proximal (0.56 ± 0.18 mm2) and distal (0.63 ± 0.21 mm 2) anastomoses in the untreated control grafts (P < .05). In addition, neointimal cell proliferation assayed with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation was reduced in the graft neointima (3.47% ± 0.43%) in heparin-coated grafts compared with the graft neointima (6.21% ± 0.59%) in untreated control grafts (P < .05). Conclusions Small-caliber heparin-coated ePTFE grafts significantly reduce platelet deposition and anastomotic neointimal hyperplasia and cell proliferation, without measurable side effects, in baboons. Surface coating with heparin in small-caliber ePTFE grafts is useful for improving prosthetic bypass graft patency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine