Haemodynamic effects of spiral ePTFE prosthesis compared with standard arteriovenous graft in a carotid to jugular vein porcine model

J Vasc Access. 2011 Jul-Sep;12(3):224-30. doi: 10.5301/ JVA.2010.6097
Jahrome OK, Hoefer I, Houston GJ, Stonebridge PA, Blankestijn PJ, Moll FL, de Borst GJ.

Introduction

The primary patency rate of arteriovenous (AV) grafts is limited by distal venous anastomosis stenosis or occlusion due to intimal hyperplasia associated with distal graft turbulence. The normal blood flow in native arteries is spiral laminar flow.

Standard vascular grafts do not produce spiral laminar flow at the distal anastomosis. Vascular grafts which induce a spiral laminar flow distally result in lower turbulence, particularly near the vessel wall. This initial study compares the hemodynamic effects of a spiral flow-inducing graft and a standard graft in a new AV carotid to jugular vein crossover graft porcine model.

Methods

Four spiral flow grafts and 4 control grafts were implanted from the carotid artery to the contralateral jugular vein in 4 pigs. Two animals were terminated after 48 hours and 2 at 14 days. Graft patency was assessed by selective catheter digital angiography, and the flow pattern was assessed by intraoperative flow probe and colour Doppler ultrasound (CDU) measurements. The spiral grafts were also assessed at enhanced flow rates using an external roller pump to simulate increased flow rates that may occur during dialysis using a standard dialysis needle cannulation. The method increased the flow rate through the graft by 660 ml/min. The graft distal anastomotic appearances were evaluated by explant histopathology.

Results

All grafts were patent at explantation with no complications. All anastomoses were found to be wide open and showed no significant angiographic stenosis at the distal anastomosis in both spiral and control grafts. CDU examinations showed a spiral flow pattern in the spiral graft and double helix pattern in the control graft. No gross histopathological effects were seen in either spiral or control grafts.

Conclusion

This porcine model is robust and allows haemodynamic flow assessment up to 14 days post-implantation. The spiral flow-inducing grafts produced and maintained spiral flow at baseline and enhanced flow rates during dialysis needle cannulation, whereas control grafts did not produce spiral flow through the distal anastomosis. There was no deleterious effect of the spiral flow-inducing graft on macroscopic and histological examination. The reducing effect of spiral flow on intima hyperplasia formation will be the subject of further study using the same AV graft model at a longer period of implantation.

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