[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Different flow patterns and shear forces were shown to cause significantly more luminal narrowing and neointimal tissue proliferation in coronary than in infrainguinal vein grafts. As constrictive external mesh support of vein grafts led to the complete suppression of intimal hyperplasia (IH) in infrainguinal grafts, we investigated whether mesh constriction is equally effective in the coronary position.
Eighteen senescent Chacma baboons (28.8 ± 3.6 kg) received aorto-coronary bypass grafts to the left anterior descending artery (LAD). Three groups of saphenous vein grafts were compared: untreated controls (CO); fibrin sealant-sprayed controls (CO + FS) and nitinol mesh-constricted grafts (ME + FS). Meshes consisted of pulse-compliant, knitted nitinol (eight needles; 50 μm wire thickness; 3.4 mm resting inner diameter, ID) spray attached to the vein grafts with FS. After 180 days of implantation, luminal dimensions and IH were analysed using post-explant angiography and macroscopic and histological image analysis.
At implantation, the calibre mismatch between control grafts and the LAD expressed as cross-sectional quotient (Qc) was pronounced [Qc = 0.21 ± 0.07 (CO) and 0.18 ± 0.05 (CO + FS)]. Mesh constriction resulted in a 29 ± 7% reduction of the outer diameter of the vein grafts from 5.23 ± 0.51 to 3.68 ± 0 mm, significantly reducing the calibre discrepancy to a Qc of 0.41 ± 0.17 (P < 0.02). After 6 months of implantation, explant angiography showed distinct luminal irregularities in control grafts (ID difference between widest and narrowest segment 74 ± 45%), while diameter variations were mild in mesh-constricted grafts. In all control grafts, thick neointimal tissue was present [600 ± 63 μm (CO); 627 ± 204 μm (CO + FS)] as opposed to thin, eccentric layers of 249 ± 83 μm in mesh-constricted grafts (ME + FS; P < 0.002). The total wall thickness had increased by 363 ± 39% (P < 0.00001) in CO and 312 ± 61% (P < 0.00001) in CO + FS vs 82 ± 61% in ME + FS (P < 0.007).
In a senescent non-human primate model for coronary artery bypass grafts, constrictive, external mesh support of saphenous veins with knitted nitinol prevented focal, irregular graft narrowing and suppressed neointimal tissue proliferation by a factor of 2.5. The lower degree of suppression of IH compared with previous infrainguinal grafts coincided with a lesser reduction of calibre mismatch in the coronary grafts.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Flow patterns and shear forces in native coronary arteries are more protective against neointimal hyperplasia than those in femoral arteries. Yet, the caliber mismatch with their target arteries makes coronary artery bypass grafts more likely to encounter intimal hyperplasia than their infrainguinal counterparts due to the resultant slow flow velocity and decreased wall stress. To allow a site-specific, flow-related comparison of remodeling behavior, saphenous vein bypass grafts were simultaneously implanted in femoral and coronary positions.
METHODS: Saphenous vein grafts were concomitantly implanted as coronary and femoral bypass grafts using a senescent nonhuman primate model. Duplex ultrasound-based blood flow velocity profiles and vein graft and target artery dimensions were correlated with dimensional and histomorphologic graft remodeling in large, senescent Chacma baboons (n = 8; 28.1 ± 4.9 kg) during a 24-week period.
RESULTS: At implantation, the cross-sectional quotient (Q(c)) between target arteries and vein grafts was 0.62 ± 0.10 for femoral grafts vs 0.17 ± 0.06 for coronary grafts, resulting in a dimensional graft-to-artery mismatch 3.6 times higher (P < .0001) in coronary grafts. Together with different velocity profiles, these site-specific dimensional discrepancies resulted in a 57.9% ± 19.4% lower maximum flow velocity (P = .0048), 48.1% ± 23.6% lower maximal cycling wall shear stress (P = .012), and 62.2% ± 21.2% lower mean velocity (P = .007) in coronary grafts. After 24 weeks, the luminal diameter of all coronary grafts had contracted by 63%, from an inner diameter of 4.49 ± 0.60 to 1.68 ± 0.63 mm (P < .0001; subintimal diameter: -41.5%; P = .002), whereas 57% of the femoral interposition grafts had dilated by 31%, from 4.21 ± 0.25 to 5.53 ± 1.30 mm (P = .020). Neointimal tissue was 2.3 times thicker in coronary than in femoral grafts (561 ± 73 vs 240 ± 149 μm; P = .001). Overall, the luminal area of coronary grafts was an average of 4.1 times smaller than that of femoral grafts.
CONCLUSIONS: Although coronary and infrainguinal bypass surgery uses saphenous veins as conduits, they undergo significantly different remodeling processes in these two anatomic positions.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of Vascular Surgery
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Constriction of vein grafts with braided external nitinol meshes had previously led to the successful elimination of neointimal tissue formation. We investigated whether pulse compliance, smaller kink-free bending radius, and milder medial atrophy can be achieved by knitting the meshes rather than braiding, without losing the suppressive effect on intimal hyperplasia.
Pulse compliance, bending stiffness, and bending radius, as well as longitudinal-radial deformation-coupling and radial compression, were compared in braided and knitted nitinol meshes. Identical to previous studies with braided mesh grafts, a senescent nonhuman primate model (Chacma baboons; bilateral femoral interposition grafts/6 months) mimicking the clinical size mismatch between vein grafts and runoff arteries was used to examine the effect of knitted external meshes on vein grafts: nitinol mesh-constricted (group 1); nitinol mesh-constricted and fibrin sealant (FS) spray-coated for mesh attachment (group 2); untreated control veins (group 3), and FS spray-coated control veins (group 4).
Compared with braided meshes, knitted meshes had 3.8-times higher pulse compliance (3.43 ± 0.53 vs 0.94 ± 0.12%/100 mm Hg; P = .00002); 30-times lower bending stiffness (0.015 ± 0.002 vs 0.462 ± 0.077 Nmm(2); P = .0006); 9.2-times narrower kink-free bending radius (15.3 ± 0.4 vs 140.8 ± 22.4 mm; P = .0006), and 4.3-times lower radial narrowing caused by axial distension (18.0% ± 1.0% vs 77.0% ± 3.7%; P = .00001). Compared with mesh-supported grafts, neointimal tissue was 8.5-times thicker in group I (195 ± 45 μm) vs group III (23.0 ± 21.0 μm; P < .001) corresponding with a 14.3-times larger neointimal area in group I (4330 ± 957 × 103 μm(2)) vs group III (303 ± 221× 103 μm(2); P < .00004). FS had no significant influence. Medial muscle mass remained at 43.4% in knitted meshes vs the 28.1% previously observed in braided meshes.
Combining the suppression of intimal hyperplasia with a more physiologic remodeling process of the media, manifold higher kink-resistance, and lower fraying than in braided meshes makes knitted nitinol an attractive concept in external vein graft protection.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Journal of Vascular Surgery
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: External mesh constriction of vein grafts was shown to mitigate intimal hyperplasia by lowering circumferential wall stress and increasing fluid shear stress. As under-constriction leaves vein segments unsupported and thus prone to neointimal proliferation while over-constriction may cause wall folding optimal mesh sizing holds a key to clinical success. Diameter fluctuations and the occurrence of wall folding as a consequence of external constriction with knitted Nitinol meshes were assessed in saphenous vein grafts from 100 consecutive coronary artery bypass (CABG) patients. Subsequently, mesh dimensions were identified that resulted in the lowest number of mesh sizes for all patients either guaranteeing tight continual mesh contact along the entire graft length (stipulation A) or preventing wall folding (stipulation B). A mathematical data classification analysis and a statistical single-stage partitioning approach were independently applied alternatively prioritizing stipulation A or B. Although the risk of folding linearly increased when constriction exceeded 24.6% (Chi squared test p = 0.0004) the actual incidence of folding (8.6% of veins) as well as the degree of lumenal encroachment (6.2 ± 2.1%) were low. Folds were always single, narrow longitudinal formations (height: 23.3 ± 4.0% of inner diameter/base: 16.6 ± 18.1% of luminal circumference). Both analytical methods provided an optimum number of 4 mesh sizes beyond which no further advantage was seen. While the size ranges recommended by both methods assured continual tight mesh contact with the vein the narrower range suggested by the mathematical data classification analysis (3.0-3.7 mm) put 20.6 ± 12.5% of length in 69% of veins at risk of folding as opposed to 21.3 ± 25.9% being at risk in the wider size range (3.0-4.2 mm) suggested by the statistical partitioning approach. Four mesh sizes would provide uninterrupted mesh contact in 98% of vein grafts in CABG procedures with only 26% of their length being at risk of relatively mild wall folding.