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Arm vein reconstruction for limb salvage: long-term outcome.

By P. V. Tisi, A. J. Crow and C. P. Shearman


A series of 42 consecutive patients undergoing infrainguinal vascular reconstruction for limb salvage using vein harvested from the arm were followed prospectively to determine the long-term graft patency and stenosis rates. Vein harvested from the arm ('arm vein') was used for secondary or tertiary reconstruction in 22 patients (52.4%). The outflow was to a single calf vessel in 37 grafts (88.1%). The cumulative primary, primary assisted and secondary graft patency rates were 35.6%, 49.6% and 59.5% at 2 years, respectively, and the limb salvage rate was 69.0% at 2 years. Eight grafts developed stenoses detected by a graft surveillance programme. Six stenoses were dilated successfully with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and one was treated with an interposition vein graft. Bypass using arm vein is time-consuming and technically demanding as multiple anastomoses are often required. Arm vein grafts, however, have no greater incidence of stenosis than long saphenous vein grafts and these stenoses may be dilated with PTA with good results. The long-term outcome suggests that an arm vein graft is an important treatment option in the absence of the long saphenous vein

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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