Postoperative Anticoagulation in Vascular Reconstructions Associated with Malignancies

Published:April 21, 2022DOI:


      The invasion of truncal arteries and veins by malignant neoplasms is rare and the surgical treatment remains a challenge. Several techniques can be used to re-establish blood flow in a resected vessel and choice of the ideal vascular substitute frequently arises a debate. Comparative studies between prosthetic and autologous grafts disclose conflicting patency results. The aim of this study is to compare patency outcomes of vascular reconstructions performed using autologous or prosthetic replacement grafts in surgical oncology, in light of a standardized antithrombotic protocol used in our institution since 1997.


      This retrospective study compared patency of prosthetic versus autologous interposition grafts following the resection of malignancies in 117 patients between September 1997 and February 2020. The 181 reconstruction procedures performed were analyzed according to the body segment involved, and divided into: head and neck, thorax, abdomen, and extremities.


      Overall survival estimates after 24 and 60 months were 53.2% (standard error 4.8%) and 38.1% (standard error 4.9%), respectively. No significant difference was observed between overall arterial patency, using autologous or synthetic grafts (P = 0.41). Overall venous patency showed a tendency to be lower in synthetic grafts, although no significant difference was observed (P = 0.062). For both arterial and venous reconstructions in the extremities (upper and lower limbs), significantly higher patency was observed using autologous grafts.


      Autologous long-term graft patency may be superior to prosthetic in vascular reconstructions associated with malignancies of the extremities. This outcome was obtained using a standardized post-operative anticoagulation protocol.
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