Objectives The aims of the study were to test the safety and efficacy of a custom-made endovenous valve transfer stent, and delivery system in animals and humans. Methods The internal jugular veins of 16 sheep, weighing 45-55 kg, were used. A segment of vein with venous valve was enclosed circumferentially with a barbed stent. This segment from the internal jugular vein was introduced and deployed remotely into the contralateral internal jugular vein. Harvesting occurred acutely (one sheep) and at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively (five sheep per group). Operative competence testing, histological and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) examinations were performed. Four males with recalcitrant ulcers (mean age of 22 years) had axillary veins transferred from the popliteal vein and were followed for a mean of 3.8 years. Results At harvest, all the transferred valves were competent, with no evidence of thrombosis, tilting, endoleak, or migration with normal macroscopic and SEM findings. Although only 50% of the ulcers completely healed in humans, the remainder were improved, with all valves being competent and patent. Conclusions Endovenous valve transfer with a custom-made circumferential stent produces near perfect results in sheep and encouraging results in a small pilot study.
|Number of pages
|European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
|Published - Sept 2013