Tailored sizes of constrictive external vein meshes for coronary artery bypass surgery

Thomas Franz, Paul Human, Stephan Dobner, B Daya Reddy, Melanie Black, Helen Ilsley, Michael F Wolf, Deon Bezuidenhout, Lovendran Moodley, Peter Zilla
Biomaterials 2010, 31 (35): 9301-9
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.

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