External Supports and the Prevention of Neointima Formation in Vein Grafts
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AIMS AND METHODOLOGY: the aim of this review is to provide an overview of the aetiology of neointima formation in vein grafts and to highlight the use of an external support to modulate this phenomenon. A systematic literature review was performed via computerised search on MEDLINE, OVID and the Cochrane Library. The search terms initially employed were broad-based; "vein graft", "neointima" and "external stent". Subsequently, more specific search terms were utilised; "perivenous mesh", "external prosthesis" and "varicose vein". Articles from indexed journals relevant to the objective, external venous supports, from the earliest reports in the 1960's to the latest in 2001 were included to obtain an exhaustive list. Reviews, abstracts and proceedings of scientific meetings, case reports and the results of both animal model investigations and human clinical trials in all languages were included. Articles describing an external support employed in both peripheral and aortocoronary bypass investigations were included.
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