The high rate of thrombosis of 1.0-mm polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts has limited their use in microvascular surgery. One possible reason for this is the blood-gas interface due to entrapped air in the interstices. The present study examines the effect on patency rates of elimination of this blood-gas interface by high pressurization. Comparing pressurized and nonpressurized grafts in the same animals showed a patency rate of 100 percent at 7 days for treated grafts, while the control (nonpressurized) grafts had all clotted by 1 hour. The implications for microvascular surgery as well as vascular surgery in general are discussed.
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