Contemporary practice for superior mesenteric/portal vein (SMV-PV) reconstruction during pancreatectomy with vein resection involves biological (autograft, allograft, xenograft) or synthetic grafts as a conduit or patch. The aim of this study was to systematically review the safety and feasibility of the different grafts used for SMV-PV reconstruction.
A systematic search was performed in PubMed and Embase according to the PRISMA guidelines (January 2000–March 2020). Studies reporting on ≥ 5 patients undergoing reconstruction of the SMV-PV with grafts during pancreatectomy were included. Primary outcome was rate of graft thrombosis.
Thirty-four studies with 603 patients were included. Four graft types were identified (autologous vein, autologous parietal peritoneum/falciform ligament, allogeneic cadaveric vein/artery, synthetic grafts). Early and overall graft thrombosis rate was 7.5% and 22.2% for synthetic graft, 5.6% and 11.7% for autologous vein graft, 6.7% and 8.9% for autologous parietal peritoneum/falciform ligament, and 2.5% and 6.2% for allograft. Donor site complications were reported for harvesting of the femoral, saphenous, and external iliac vein. No cases of graft infection were reported for synthetic grafts.
In selected patients, autologous, allogenic or synthetic grafts for SMV-PV reconstruction are safe and feasible. Synthetic grafts seems to have a higher incidence of graft thrombosis.
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