Favorable experiences with plastic arterial prostheses have diminished i n t e r e s t in searching further for an ideal arterial graft. Although eminently successful in the aorta, the plastic grafts, when used in the arteries of the lower extremity, have been associated with a relatively high incidence of late failure. This study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of using fetal arterial heterografts as vascular replacements in the lower extremities as well as in other small arteries of the body.
During recent years several investigators have demonstrated increased tolerance on the part of the adult host to the transplantation of embryonic tissue. Rogers, Converse, and Silvetti applied bovine embryonic skin to 8 human cases.1 Although these embryonic heterografts survived for only 12 to 17 days, a surprising lack of host reaction was observed. This was in contrast to the redness, edema, and induration often seen at