This study was conducted to assess the efficacy of portal vein reconstruction with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) graft. Five patients underwent interposition of the portal vein with e-PTFE graft following en bloc resection of the entire pancreas and the portal vein for advanced pancreatic cancer. The length of the excised vein ranged from 5 to 7 cm and that of the implanted graft (8 or 10 mm in diameter), 3 to 7.5 cm. In 4 of the 5 cases, the graft was patent at five to eighteen months following implantation. One patient died of respiratory failure two months after operation, and partial occlusion of the graft was noted at autopsy. Four patients died of recurrence of the original disease five to eighteen months after operation. The implanted graft taken at autopsy eighteen months after operation was covered uniformly with thin neointima on the internal surface. Microscopic examination showed endothelial cells covering the surface of the neointima, and capillary vessels had developed in the neointimal layer. Experimentally, five grafts, 0.8 cm in diameter and 2.5 cm in length with external ring support, were interposed in the portal vein in pigs. All grafts were patent during a four-month follow-up period. The authors conclude that the e-PTFE graft is a suitable prosthesis for replacement of the portal vein following its resection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine