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Sustained Thromboresistant Bioactivity with Reduced Intimal Hyperplasia of Heparin-Bonded Polytetrafluoroethylene Propaten Graft in a Chronic Canine Femoral Artery Bypass Model

Freeman J, Chen A, Weinberg RJ, Okada T, Chen C, Lin PH. Sustained thromboresistant bioactivity with reduced intimal hyperplasia of heparin-bonded PTFE Propaten Graft in a chronic canine femoral artery bypass model. Annals of Vascular Surgery 2018;49:295-303.



Bypass graft thrombosis remains a significant mode of failure in prosthetic graft revascularization. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the long-term thromboresistant effect of heparin-bonded expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) graft using Carmeda BioActive Surface technology in a canine model.


Bilateral femorofemoral artery bypass grafts with ePTFE grafts were performed in 25 adult grayhound dogs. In each animal, a heparin-bonded ePTFE graft (Propaten, WL Gore) was placed on one side, whereas a control nonheparin graft was placed on the contralateral side. The graft patency was assessed at 1, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months (n = 5 per group) following the bypass. Heparin bioactivity of the graft material was analyzed. The effect of intimal hyperplasia was also assessed.


All bypass grafts were patent at 1 month. Significantly greater patency rates were noted in the Propaten group compared to the control group at 12, 18, and 24 months, which were 84%, 80%, and 80% vs. 55%, 35%, and 20%, respectively (P < 0.02). There was a significant reduction in the anastomotic neointimal area and neointimal cell proliferation in Propaten grafts compared with control grafts at all groups between 6 and 24 months (P < 0.05). Heparin bioactivity as measured by antithrombin binding assay was demonstrated in the Propaten graft between 1 and 24 months. Mean heparin activities on Propaten grafts ranged from 26.3 ± 6.4 pmol/cm2 to 18.4 ± 8.7 pmol/cm2 between 1 and 24 months, which were significantly greater than the control group (P < 0.001). Differences between mean heparin activities of explanted Propaten graft samples at the various time points were nonsignificant (P > 0.05).


Heparin-bonded ePTFE graft provides a thromboresistant surface and reduced anastomotic intimal hyperplasia at 2 years. The stable heparin bioactivity of the Propaten graft confers an advantage in long-term graft patency.

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