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Vol 10, No 1 (2004)
Research paper
Published online: 2004-02-24

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Expression of endothelial cell markers on the luminal surface of human polyester vascular grafts

Radosław Kowalewski, Jerzy Głowiński, Lech Zimnoch, Stanisław Głowiński
Acta Angiologica 2004;10(1):23-29.

Abstract

Background. The presence of endothelial cells on the luminal surface of synthetic vascular grafts in human beings is still a controversial issue. It is commonly accepted, that these cells are present in human grafts close to the graft to artery anastomosis. The aim of the study was to assess the presence of main endothelial cell markers on the luminal surface of polyester vascular grafts in humans.
Material and methods. The studied material consisted of aorto-femoral grafts obtained from 8 patients had been operated on due to false aneurysms of a distal anastomosis 3 to 5 years after prosthesis implantation. Graft segments were harvested 4–5 cm above the anastomosis and fixed according to the AMeX method. Immunohistochemical labeling was performed with the use of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against endothelial cell markers: surface molecule CD31 and von Willebrand factor (vWf).
Results. Intensive (+++) expression of CD 31 antygen was found on the luminal surface of 5 investigated grafts, whereas in 3 others only moderate, focal (++) expression of CD 31 antygen was shown. In normal aorta intensive (+++) expression of CD 31 antygen was demonstrated on its surface, as well as in vasa vasorum. Intensive (+++) expression of vWf was found on the luminal surface of all investigated grafts. Intensity and localization of vWf staining in vascular grafts was similar to that demonstrated in normal aorta.
Conclusions. Expression of main endothelial cell markers indicates that endothelial cells may be present on luminal surface of knitted polyester vascular grafts in humans, not only close to the graft to artery anastomosis.

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