BACKGROUND This study evaluated performance of a tissue-engineered human acellular vessel (HAV) in a porcine model of acute vascular injury and ischemia. The HAV is an engineered blood vessel consisted of human vascular extracellular matrix proteins. Limb reperfusion and vascular outcomes of the HAV were compared with those from synthetic expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) grafts. METHODS Thirty-six pigs were randomly assigned to four treatment groups, receiving either the HAV or a PTFE graft following a hind limb ischemia period of either 0 or 6 hours. All grafts were 3-cm-long interposition 6-mm diameter grafts implanted within the right iliac artery. Animals were not immunosuppressed and followed for up to 28 days after surgery. Assessments performed preoperatively and postoperatively included evaluation of graft patency, hind limb function, and biochemical markers of tissue ischemia or reperfusion injury. Histological analysis was performed on explants to assess host cell responses. RESULTS Postoperative gait assessment and biochemical analysis confirmed that ischemia and reperfusion injury were caused by 6-hour ischemia, regardless of vascular graft type. Hind limb function and tissue damage biomarkers improved in all groups postoperatively. Final patency rates at postoperative day 28 were higher for HAV than for ePTFE graft in both the 0-hour (HAV, 85.7%; ePTFE, 66.7%) and 6-hour (HAV, 100%; ePTFE, 75%) ischemia groups, but these differences were not statistically significant. Histological analyses identified some intimal hyperplasia and host reactivity to the xenogeneic HAV and also to the synthetic ePTFE graft. Positive host integration and vascular cell infiltration were identified in HAV but not ePTFE explants. CONCLUSION Based on the functional performance and the histologic profile of explanted HAVs, this study supports further investigation to evaluate long-term performance of the HAV when used to repair traumatic vascular injuries.
- Vascular repair
- human acellular vessels
- ischemia and reperfusion injury
- tissue engineering