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, 105 (3), 249-55

Intrinsic Structural Failure of Polyester (Dacron) Vascular Grafts. A General Review


Intrinsic Structural Failure of Polyester (Dacron) Vascular Grafts. A General Review

H Van Damme et al. Acta Chir Belg.


Intrinsic structural failure of Dacron prostheses is a late exceptional complication, resulting from a loss of structural integrity of the graft. The authors report six cases of non-anastomotic false aneurysms in the mid-portion of a vascular Dacron graft, observed at a mean of 12 years after insertion. It concerns four femoro-popliteal bypass grafts, one cross-over graft and a branch of a bifurcated aorto-bifemoral graft, implanted between 1980 and 1990. This represents 0.2% of all vascular Dacron grafts implanted in authors' department since 1980. The degenerated prosthesis was excised, and a new bypass graft was inserted. In three cases, histological analysis revealed a foreign body giant cell reaction against fragmented Dacron fibers. In none of the cases there was evidence of graft infection. The authors discuss the evidence and etiopathogeny of this late, unusual complication, inherent to the Dacron graft material. The most probable causative factor is material fatigue, leading to gradual breakdown and fragmentation of individual fibers, and subsequent biodegradation of the basic material. Such an intrinsic weakness of prosthetic fabric has only be observed in first and second generation Dacron grafts.

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