A blinded comparison of angiography, angioscopy, and duplex scanning in the intraoperative evaluation of in situ saphenous vein bypass grafts

J. J. Gilbertson, D. B. Walsh, R. M. Zwolak, M. A. Waters, A. Musson, J. G. Magnant, J. R. Schneider, J. L. Cronenwett

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48 Scopus citations


Angiography, angioscopy, and duplex scanning have each been advocated for intraoperative assessment of in siva saphenous vein grafts. We compared these three modalities during operation in a prospective, blinded study during the construction of 20 femoral-infragenicular in situ saphenous vein grafts. Each modality was used and interpreted by a surgeon blinded to the results of the other studies. Abnormalities requiring intervention were defined as (1) patent vein side branches, (2) residual valve cusps, and (3) anastomotic stenoses 〉 30%. Criteria, specific to the modality, corresponding to each category were prospectively defined. Fourteen residual valve cusps, 49 patent vein branches, and 6 anastomotic stenoses were suggested by at least one modality. Nine residual valve cusps, 32 patent vein branches, and no anastomotic stenoses were actually found (and corrected) by direct inspection. Sensitivity of detecting patent side branches for angiography, duplex scanning, and angioscopy was 44%, 12%, and 66%, respectively. Both angiography and angioscopy were significantly more sensitive than duplex scanning for detection of unligated side branches (p < 0.01). Sensitivity of detecting residual valve cusps was 22% (angiography), 11% (duplex scanning), and 100% (angioscopy). Angioscopy was significantly more sensitive than either duplex scanning or angiography in detection of residual valve cusps (p < 0.01). Since no anastomotic stenoses were confirmed, the false-positive rates for stenosis detection were 20% for angiography, 10% for duplex scanning, and 0% for angioscopy. Time requirement was 17 to 20 minutes and did not differ among the three modalities. No stenosis or arteriovenous fistula has been detected in any graft by postoperative duplex surveillance (mean, 10-month follow-up). Angiography and angioscopy were superior to duplex scanning for detecting patent vein branches. Angiography or duplex scanning alone would have missed 〉 75% of residual valve cusps. These results suggest that angioscopy is the preferred method for intraoperative in situ vein graft evaluation. (J Vasc Surg 1992;15:121–9.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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