Arterial homografts were utilized in our early experience with the bypass operation for segmental occlusions. Their use involved serious problems of procurement, preparation, and storage, which led to the establishment of a blood-vessel bank.1 As a result, the difficulties were lessened, though by no means eliminated, and initial results were satisfying.2 Subsequently, several complications developed that were attributable to defects in the grafts themselves. Although these complications were not the main cause of graft failures, they were significant enough to cause us to switch to one of the available synthetic blood-vessel replacements. This afforded an opportunity to make a direct comparison between homografts and the synthetic vessels in similar groups of patients, largely with iliac or femoral occlusions.
Many different materials have been used for vascular prostheses by others, with varying degrees of success. Plastics have been the most promising, including Vinyon-N, nylon, Orlon, compressed polyvinyl (Ivalon), Dacron, and Teflon.3-7