Results of vein graft reconstruction of the lower extremity in diabetic and nondiabetic patients

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Surgery Gynecology and Obstetrics






The results of 171 vein grafts of the lower extremity were evaluated. These were placed between January 1981 and December 1987 in 150 patients, 75 diabetic and 75 nondiabetic, to determine the influence of diabetes on the outcome of the procedure. One and four year patency rates were determined by a life table analysis. No statistical differences in primary patency were found between the patients with diabetes and those without diabetes for all indications of operations (one year, diabetic patients 95±3 per cent, nondiabetic patients 85±3 per cent; four years, diabetic patients 89±11 per cent and nondiabetic patients 80±12 per cent; p=n.s.). For those operated upon for salvage of the limb because of rest pain, ulceration or gangrene, patency in diabetic patients at one year approached a statistically significant advantage (diabetic patients 94±4 per cent versus nondiabetic patients 79±8 per cent; p=0.056). We believe that arterial reconstruction of the lower extremity can be performed upon patients with diabetes with the same high degree of success for revascularization and salvage of the limb as can be accomplished in nondiabetic patients. This is true even though those with diabetes present with necrosis of the tissue and more often require bypass to distal tibial arteries.

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