Influence of endothelial cell seeding on platelet deposition and patency in small-diameter Dacron arterial grafts

Brent T. Allen, Julie A. Long, Richard E. Clark, Gregorio A. Sicard, Kevin T. Hopkins, Michael J. Welch

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97 Scopus citations


Serial platelet deposition, surface topography, and patency were evaluated in control (N = 28) and endothelial cell - seeded (N = 28) small-diameter (4 mm inner diameter) USCI Dacron grafts implanted in the carotid and femoral arteries of dogs. All dogs received aspirin (325 mg) daily for 2 weeks starting 24 hours prior to graft implantation. Endothelial cell seeding was performed by mixing suspensions of autologous endothelial cells that had been enzymatically harvested from segments of external jugular vein with blood that was used to preclot the prostheses. The platelet deposition on each graft was quantitated by means of indium 111 - labeled platelets and technetium 99m - labeled red cells in a dual-isotope platelet-imaging technique. Platelet deposition on seeded grafts 24 hours after implantation was significantly higher than on the controls (p < 0.05). Two weeks after implantation platelet deposition on seeded prostheses had decreased to a level significantly lower than that on the controls and continued to decline on serial studies up to 7 months. In contrast to seeded grafts, platelet accumulation on control grafts dramatically increased after the withdrawal of aspirin therapy and was associated with a sharp rise in control graft thromboses. Gross and scanning electron microscopic evaluation of endothelial cell - seeded grafts after 1 month indicated complete neointimal coverage, whereas none of the control grafts explanted at 1 month or later exhibited a continuous neointimal lining. Cumulative 7-month patency for seeded prostheses was significantly higher than for the controls (96% and 29%, respectively; p < 0.001). We conclude that endothelial cell seeding in combination with short-term aspirin therapy is a simple, reliable method of reducing platelet deposition and significantly improving patency in small-diameter Dacron prostheses. Abrupt withdrawal of aspirin therapy may be contraindicated in nonseeded control grafts because it results in increased platelet deposition and thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1984


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