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Research Letter
July 2015

The Preservation and Handling of Vein Grafts in Current Surgical Practice: Findings of a Survey Among Cardiovascular Surgeons of Top-Ranked US Hospitals

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • 3Heart Center, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 4Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(7):681-683. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.0404

Despite the recognized importance of vein graft preservation, a paucity of data exists regarding how vein grafts are handled and preserved in everyday practice. As such, we sought to characterize the techniques of vein graft preservation and handling among a large cohort of high-performing US cardiovascular hospitals and to report the findings.

An anonymous, voluntary, electronic survey instrument consisting of 15 questions pertaining to vein graft use, harvesting, handling, and preservation was created. After internal and external reviews of the survey items for content validity, a final version (Table) was formatted using Qualtrics survey software (Qualtrics LLC). A total of 100 medical centers were considered for inclusion in our study based on recognition by the US News and World Report as top-performing hospitals in cardiology and cardiac surgery.1 Respective division heads and practicing surgeons received a letter via email signed by study investigators (J.B.W., R.E.H., and P.K.S.) requesting participation on behalf of their medical centers. The institutional review board of Duke University determined that the study met the criteria for exemption from approval.