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July 1984

Functional Injury of Vein Graft Endothelium: Role of Hypothermia and Distention

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory for Vascular Biology, Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(7):770-774. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390190014003

• The cause of endothelial injury during vein harvesting and preservation is complex. Hypothermia is thought necessary to preserve cell viability but has been implicated in morphologic injury to the endothelium. This study explored the effect of temperature on preserving endothelial function using prostacyclin production as a metabolic marker. Canine veins were atraumatically excised and matched segments were stored at three temperatures using either nutrient medium or heparinized saline. After storage, endogenous production of prostacyclin by the luminal surface of each vein was collected in a closed perfusion system at 37 °C and assayed by radioimmunoassay. Optimal prostacyclin production was observed in veins stored in tissue culture medium at normothermia. Preservation of normal endothelial function may require revision of traditional vein graft—harvesting techniques.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:770-774)

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