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The problem of vascular grafts in cardiac surgery is somewhat different from the problems associated with vascular grafts involving larger vessels. Cardiac surgeons must deal with small-caliber grafts exclusively. The diameters of the coronary artery vessels that are usually involved in bypass procedures are about 1 to 2 mm, and occasionally as large as 3 mm. Coronary artery bypass procedures for the most part have been greeted with excellent success. Long-term patency rates of more than 95% using internal mammary arterial grafts and more than 85% for saphenous venous grafts are routinely reported. A prosthetic graft that would permit this order of long-term patency rates would be of enormous usefulness in the field of cardiac surgery.
vascular grafts, cardiac surgery, coronary artery vessels, bypass
Director of surgical researchprofessor of surgery, Sinai Hospital of DetroitWayne State University, College of Medicine, Detroit, MI