RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Feb. 2, 2011 The day when a surgeon can pull a new human vein off the shelf for use in life-saving vascular surgeries is now one step closer to reality. New research published in the current issue of the journal, Science Translational Medicine, demonstrates the efficacy of tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) that are immediately-available at the time of surgery and have decreased potential for infection, obstruction or clotting. The bioengineering method of producing veins reported in the newly-published research shows promise in both large and small diameter applications, such as for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery and for vascular access in hemodialysis.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
The American Heart Association Update on Heart Disease Statistics reports that in 2007, in the U.S., just over 400,000 coronary bypass procedures were performed. Patients requiring bypass surgery may not have suitable veins or arteries available and are not candidates for synthetic grafts because of the size needed for grafting.
This new type of bioengineered vein allows them to be easily stored in hospitals so they are readily available to surgeons at the time of need, said Alan P. Kypson, M.D., Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Brody School of Medicine, at East Carolina University, also an author of the paper. Currently, grafting using the patients own veins remains the gold standard. But, harvesting a vein from the patients leg can lead to complications, and for patients who dont have suitable veins, the bioengineered veins could serve as an important new way to provide a coronary bypass.
According to statistics published by the National Kidney Foundation, 320,000 patients are on chronic hemodialysis. Each year, 110,000 new patients develop renal failure requiring dialysis, and the number is growing by three percent per ye
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