The objective of this investigation was to assess the effect of 60% sodium diatrizoate on intimal fibrinolytic activity of saphenous vein as it may play an important role in the development of postvenographic thrombophlebitis. Sixteen saphenous vein specimens were obtained from 14 patients during vascular surgical procedures requiring use of the saphenous vein. Immediately after excision, each vein was divided into three segments for study (Groups I, II, and III). Group I specimens were flushed with normal saline and served as controls. Group II specimens were flushed with 60% sodium diatrizoate. Group III specimens were flushed with 60% sodium diatrizoate followed by normal saline 2 min later. Intimal fibrinolytic activity was quantified in each specimen using the modified histochemical method of Todd. The presence of lysis was noted at 10, 20, 30, and 45 min. In Group 1, 5 of the 16 veins demonstrated no baseline intimal fibrinolytic activity and corresponding specimens were not included in the analysis. When comparing Group II to Group I, there was significant delay in intimal fibrinolytic activity with mean appearance times of 36.8 ± 7.8 and 22.3 ± 9.8 min, respectively (P < 0.0005). Likewise, when comparing Group III to Group I, there was significant delay in intimal fibrinolytic activity with times of 37.3 ± 9.3 and 22.3 ± 9.8 min, respectively (P < 0.005). There was no statistical difference between Groups II and III. The fibrinolytic activity of saphenous vein intima is significantly diminished after exposure to sodium diatrizoate. Saline flush does not significantly alter this effect.
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