British Journal of Surgery vol:75 issue:7 pages:668-70
To define the exact incidence of late degeneration, 32 patients underwent intravenous digital subtraction angiography (IVDSA) and/or a Duplex scan more than 3 years after human umbilical vein (HUV) grafting. IVDSA (n = 26) showed a 23 per cent aneurysmal degeneration rate which increased to 40 per cent with Duplex scanning (n = 25). Although the differences obtained in those patients receiving both examinations (n = 19) were statistically not significant, Duplex scanning appeared to be more sensitive, demonstrating two additional cases of aneurysmal degeneration not detected by IVDSA. Since, moreover, Duplex scanning proved able to detect anastomotic stenosis, it appears to be the examination of choice in long-term follow-up of the HUV graft. Despite this relatively high degeneration rate, the authors consider continued use of the HUV graft in selected patients to be justified, especially when the long-term patency rates, the available alternatives, and the less favourable long-term survival after femoropopliteal reconstruction are taken into consideration.