Long-term results with autogenous tissue repair of traumatic extremity vascular injuries

Ann Surg. 1987 Dec;206(6):804-8. doi: 10.1097/00000658-198712000-00020.


With extensive vascular injuries in which a vascular conduit is required, there is controversy as to whether an autogenous or prosthetic graft is preferable. The authors reviewed their experience with 91 extremity arterial injuries in which autogenous tissue was used to repair vascular injuries of the extremities. Twenty-two patients also had concomitant repair of associated venous injuries with autogenous vein grafts. Ten patients required amputations, despite patent grafts in five patients, because of severe muscle necrosis. Two patients had thrombosis of their vein grafts develop in the early postoperative period but did not require amputation. The authors identified only one late vein graft failure in a patient in whom an infected pseudoaneurysm developed. Three patients with extensive soft tissue injuries had infection develop in vein grafts, with subsequent massive bleeding that ultimately required arterial ligation. Among the 22 patients with repair of their venous injuries, occlusion of popliteal vein repairs was documented in two patients and suspected in three others. The remainder of patients had satisfactory results. The excellent results obtained in the vast majority of the authors' patients with extremity vascular injuries reinforces their preference for using autogenous tissue whenever a vascular conduit is required. Exceptions include patients with extensive soft tissue loss precluding adequate graft coverage, the repair of large vessels, and life-threatening emergencies when there is insufficient time to harvest and prepare a vein.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arm / blood supply
  • Arteries / injuries*
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Arteries / transplantation
  • Child
  • Female
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Transplantation, Autologous*
  • Veins / injuries*
  • Veins / surgery
  • Veins / transplantation