Femoropopliteal bypass for claudication: Vein vs. PTFE

Brent T. Allen, Jeffrey M. Reilly, Brian G. Rubin, Robert W. Thompson, Charles B. Anderson, M. Wayne Flye, Gregorio A. Sicard

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48 Scopus citations


The vascular graft of choice for femoropopliteal bypass in patients with intolerable claudication is controversial. We retrospectively reviewed our experience with 239 patients suffering from claudication secondary to superficial femoral artery obstruction. Femoropopliteal reconstruction was performed with saphenous vein to the below-knee popliteal artery in 66 patients (BK-vein). Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was used in 128 patients as a bypass graft to the above-knee popliteal artery (AK-PTFE) and 45 patients had a PTFE graft to the below-knee popliteal artery (BK-PTFE). All patients were enrolled in a postoperative graft surveillance program with graft revision when appropriate. There was one perioperative death (0.4%). Primary patency at 5 years for AK-PTFE, BK-PTFE, and BK-vein was 58.0%, 55.0%, and 60.3%, respectively, and was not significantly different among the graft groups. Graft revision for failed/failing grafts resulted in 5-year secondary patency rates of 79.2% (AK-PTFE), 73.3% (BK-PTFE), and 74.4% (BK- vein). These secondary patency rates were not statistically different. Eventual conversion to a vein graft in patients initially treated with PTFE maximized patency in the femoropopliteal segment with 5-year patency rates of 84.6% and 93.0% for the AK-PTFE and BK-PTFE graft groups, respectively. Major leg amputation was necessary during the entire course of the study in eight (3.3%) patients. We conclude that long-term patency rates for femoropopliteal bypass in patients with intolerable claudication are similar for PTFE and autologous saphenous vein grafts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1996


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