The importance of routine surveillance of distal bypass grafts with duplex scanning: A study of 379 reversed vein grafts

Joseph L Mills, E. John Harris, Lloyd M. Taylor, W. Clark Beckett, John M. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

148 Scopus citations


To assess the utility of routine duplex surveillance, 379 infrainguinal reversed vein grafts performed at two independent teaching hospitals were prospectively entered into a surveillance protocol from March 1986 through August 1989. An average of 3.2 postoperative duplex graft flow velocity (GFV) measurements per graft was obtained during a mean follow-up interval of 21 1 2 months. Only 2.1% of 280 grafts with GFV measurements greater than 45 cm/sec failed within 6 months of a normal surveillance examination. GFV measurements less than 45 cm/sec in 99 grafts led to arteriography in 75 grafts, identifying 50 stenotic lesions in 48 bypasses (12.6% of series). Inflow lesions were present in 5%, outflow stenoses in 2%, and intrinsic graft stenoses in only 6% of bypasses. Only 29% of grafts identified as failing by duplex scan were associated with a reduction in ankle-brachial index of greater than 0.15. Secondary reconstructions were performed in 48 grafts based on detection of a reduced GFV measurement; all such reconstructions are patent after a mean follow-up of 5 months. Duplex surveillance is more reliable in identification of failing vein grafts than is determination of ankle-brachial index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-389
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery

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