Introduction Heparin-bonded expanded polytetrafluoroethylene grafts (Propaten, WL Gore, Flagstaff, AZ, USA) have been shown to have superior patency compared to standard prosthetic grafts in leg bypass. This study analyzed the outcomes of Propaten grafts with distal anastomotic patch versus autogenous saphenous vein grafts in tibial artery bypass. Methods A retrospective analysis of prospective collected data was performed during a recent 15-year period. Sixty-two Propaten bypass grafts with distal anastomotic patch (Propaten group) were compared with 46 saphenous vein graft (vein group). Pertinent clinical variables including graft patency and limb salvage were analyzed. Results Both groups had similar clinical risk factors, bypass indications, and target vessel for tibial artery anastomoses. Decreased trends of operative time (196 ± 34 min vs. 287 ± 65 min, p = 0.07) and length of hospital stay (5.2 ± 2.3 days vs. 7.5 ± 3.6, p = 0.08) were noted in the Propaten group compared to the vein group. Similar primary patency rates were noted at four years between the Propaten and vein groups (85%, 71%, 64%, and 57%, vs. 87%, 78%, 67%, and 61% respectively; p = 0.97). Both groups had comparable secondary patency rates yearly in four years (the Propaten group: 84%, 76%, 74%, and 67%, respectively; the vein group: 88%, 79%, 76%, and 72%, respectively; p = 0.94). The limb salvage rates were equivalent between the Propaten and vein group at four years (84% vs. 92%, p = 0.89). Multivariate analysis showed active tobacco usage and poor run-off score as predictors for graft occlusion. Conclusions Propaten grafts with distal anastomotic patch have similar clinical outcomes compared to the saphenous vein graft in tibial artery bypass. Our data support the use of Propaten graft with distal anastomotic patch as a viable conduit of choice in patients undergoing tibial artery bypass.
Keywords: PTFE graft; Propaten; distal anastomotic vein patch; heparin-bonded graft; lower leg bypass; saphenous vein graft; tibial artery bypass.