The efficacy of dextran 40 in preventing early postoperative thrombosis following difficult lower extremity bypass

Robert B. Rutherford, Darrell N. Jones, Sven Erik Bergentz, David Bergqvist, Allastair M. Karmody, Herbert Dardik, Wesley S. Moore, Jerry Goldstone, William R. Flinn, Anthony J. Comerota, William J. Fry, Dhiraj M. Shah

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In a randomized, multicenter trial the efficacy of intravenous dextran 40 (D-40; Rheomacrodex) in preventing early postoperative thrombosis was tested in the following difficult lower extremity bypasses: (1) femoropopliteal with poor runoff using autologous vein (AV), (2) femoropopliteal using grafts other than AV, (3) single or sequential bypasses to infrapopliteal arteries, and (4) the above-mentioned bypasses with adjunctive procedures that destroy adjacent endothelial surfaces (e.g., thrombectomy and endarterectomy). Five units of D-40 was administered to the experimental group at 75 to 100 ml/hr, two during and immediately after operation and one each 3 days postoperatively. Antiplatelet drugs were withheld until 1 week after surgery. The overall 1-week occlusion rate was 6.9% (5 of 73) with D-40 and 20.5% (17 of 83) for controls, which is statistically significant. Particularly significant was the difference in group 3: 0% (0 of 28) for D-40 and 27.8% (10 of 36) for controls. In the same time period there were no occlusions in group I and only one occlusion each with AV grafts in both D-40 and control groups, 2.6% (1 of 38). When grafts other than AV were used, the occlusion rate was significantly lower at 1 week for D-40, 11.4% (4 of 35), than controls, 35.6% (16 of 45). By 1 month the protective effect of D-40 was partially lost-15.3% (11 of 72) for D-40 and 20.7% (17 of 82) for controls (no statistical significance). Use of antiplatelet drugs during this period had no discernible effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-773
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1984
Externally publishedYes


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