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May 1977

Improved Results With Femoropopliteal Vein Grafts for Limb Salvage

Arch Surg. 1977;112(5):567-570. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370050027004

• Over a ten-year period from 1966 to 1975, 154 femoropopliteal vein grafts were performed for limb salvage in 139 patients, including 42 diabetics. The average patient age was 70 years. The one-month operative mortality was 2.9% (four patients). Average preoperative Doppler ankle pressure was 46 mm Hg, with an average ankle-arm systolic blood pressure index (ASPI) of 0.33. The average postoperative Doppler ankle pressure was 96 mm Hg, with an ASPI of 0.76. Five-year vein graft patency was 72%. Poor quality of vein was a statistically significant cause of graft failure (P <.015). Small saphenous veins of good quality and arm veins gave satisfactory results. Diabetics had a lower, but not statistically significantly decreased, five-year patency. Because of this high success rate and low operative mortality, we recommend an attempt at limb salvage by femoropopliteal vein grafting in patients threatened with limb loss because of atherosclerotic occlusive disease of the femoropopliteal segment.

(Arch Surg 112:567-570, 1977)