Tissue engineering holds great promise for the advancement of cardiovascular surgery as well as other medical fields. Tissue-engineered vascular grafts have the ability to grow and remodel and could therefore make great advances for pediatric cardiovascular surgery. In 2001, we began a human clinical trial evaluating these grafts in patients with a univentricular physiology. Herein, we report the long-term results of patients who underwent implantation of tissue-engineered vascular grafts as extracardiac total cavopulmonary conduits. Tissue-engineered vascular grafts seeded with autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells were implanted in 25 patients with univentricular physiology. The graft is composed of a woven fabric of poly-l-lactide acid or polyglycolic acid and a 50:50 poly (l-lactic-co-ε-caprolactone) copolymer. Patients were followed up with postoperatively in a multidisciplinary clinic. Median patient age at operation was 5.5 years and the mean follow-up period was 11.1 years. There was no graft-related mortality during the follow-up period. There was also no evidence of aneurysmal formation, graft rupture, graft infection, or calcification. Seven (28%) patients had asymptomatic graft stenosis and underwent successful balloon angioplasty. Stenosis is the primary complication of the tissue-engineered vascular graft. Avoidance of anticoagulation therapy would improve patients’ quality of life. Tissue-engineered vascular grafts have feasibility in pediatric cardiovascular surgery.
- Fontan surgery
- congenital heart disease
- pediatric cardiac surgery
- univentricular physiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine