Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Saphenous Vein Grafts.


Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Saphenous Vein Grafts.


Gooch Keith J; Firstenberg Michael S; Shrefler Brittany S; Scandling Benjamin W


Journal of biomechanical engineering




Within several weeks of use as coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG), saphenous veins (SV) exhibit significant intimal hyperplasia (IH). IH predisposes vessels to thrombosis and atherosclerosis, the two major modes of vein graft failure. The fact that SV do not develop significant IH in their native venous environment coupled with the rapidity with which they develop IH following grafting into the arterial circulation suggests that factors associated with the isolation and preparation of SV and/or differences between the venous and arterial environments contribute to disease progression. There is strong evidence suggesting that mechanical trauma associated with traditional techniques of SV preparation can significantly damage the vessel and might potentially reduce graft patency though modern surgical techniques reduces these injuries. In contrast, it seems possible that modern surgical technique, specifically endoscopic vein harvest, might introduce other mechanical trauma that could subtly injure the vein and perhaps contribute to the reduced patency observed in veins harvested using endoscopic techniques. Aspects of the arterial mechanical environment influence remodeling of SV grafted into the arterial circulation. Increased pressure likely leads to thickening of the medial wall but its role in IH is less clear. Changes in fluid flow, including increased average wall shear stress, may reduce IH while disturbed flow likely increase IH. Nonmechanical stimuli, such as exposure to arterial levels of oxygen, may also have a significant but not widely recognized role in IH. Several potentially promising approaches to alter the mechanical environment to improve graft patency are including extravascular supports or altered graft geometries are covered.



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Gooch Keith J; Firstenberg Michael S; Shrefler Brittany S; Scandling Benjamin W, “Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Saphenous Vein Grafts.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed July 14, 2024,