Purpose: Artery-wall hypoxia has been proposed to contribute to many kinds of artery-wall pathologic conditions, including atherosclerosis and intimal hyperplasia. Intimal hyperplasia is common at sites of arterial injury, including an anastomosis. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a prosthetic vascular graft (PVG)-to-artery anastomosis on the delivery of oxygen to the artery wall. Methods: The transarterial wall oxygen gradient in the infrarenal aorta of New Zealand White rabbits 2 mm distal to a PVG-to-artery anastomosis was measured with an oxygen microelectrode. Results: Oxygen tensions were significantly decreased in the outer artery wall immediately after the creation of the anastomosis and showed a further decrease in oxygen tensions at days 7 and 14, which correlated with the absence of a vasa vasorum. After day 14, the oxygen tensions gradually increased, returning to normal by postanastomosis day 42, correlating with a return of the vasa vasorum. These changes were noted without differences in blood pressure or arterial blood oxygen concentrations. Conclusion: The delivery of oxygen to the artery wall is altered by the creation of a PVG-to- artery anastomosis. Low arterial oxygen tensions at a PVG-to-artery anastomosis support a role for artery-wall hypoxia in the formation of intimal hyperplasia at the site of a PVG-to-artery anastomosis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by a Department of Veterans Affairs Merit Review Grant and a Public Health Service, National Research Service Award, 1F32HL10076-01.
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