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1.  Coronary artery bypass surgery: current practice in the United Kingdom. 
British Heart Journal  1994;71(4):382-385.
OBJECTIVE--To assess current clinical practice in coronary artery bypass surgery and compare it with a previous survey conducted five years ago. SETTING--United Kingdom. DESIGN--Postal questionnaires were sent in March 1993 to 120 consultant cardiac surgeons currently performing coronary artery bypass surgery. 104 (87%) were returned by May 1993. RESULTS--The 104 surgeons who returned the questionnaire performed an estimated total of 25,234 coronary artery bypass operations in 1992 with an average case load per surgeon similar to that in 1987 (243 v 214, NS). The internal mammary artery was regarded as the conduit of choice by 101 surgeons (97%) and was used in 93% of bypass grafts to the left anterior descending coronary artery compared with 73% in 1987 (p < 0.001) but only in 7% of grafts to the circumflex and right coronary systems. There was also a significant increase in the number of surgeons using both internal mammary arteries (88% v 59%, p < 0.01) but only a small increase in those using the internal mammary artery as a sequential graft (55% v 44%, NS). The age of the patient remains one of the main contraindications to the use of the internal mammary artery (40%), together with insufficient mammary flow (42%), endarterectomy (22%), and unstable angina (17%). The right gastroepiploic and inferior epigastric arteries were used only occasionally (3%) when the internal mammary artery or the saphenous vein were not available. Most surgeons (96%) still advocate the use of aspirin to enhance graft patency, with 87% of surgeons continuing treatment indefinitely, compared with 50% in the previous survey (p < 0.001). As for methods of myocardial protection, 72% of surgeons used cardioplegic arrest whereas 28% preferred intermittent aortic cross clamping and fibrillation. CONCLUSIONS--It is the consensus among British cardiac surgeons that the internal mammary artery is the graft conduit of choice. Its use has been significantly extended over the past five years (1987 to 1992) suggesting a quick response to advancing scientific knowledge. The use of alternative arterial conduits is still limited, perhaps as a reflection of the relative lack of information on their long-term performance. The recently advocated technique of retrograde cardioplegia and continuous warm cardioplegia is not yet popular.
PMCID: PMC483693  PMID: 8198893
2.  The Internal Mammary Artery Bypass Graft: Praise versus Practice 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  1987;14(2):139-143.
Patency rates and long-term clinical results after coronary artery bypass are superior when the internal mammary artery, rather than the saphenous vein, is used as a bypass graft. Four thousand forty-seven cardiac surgeons were surveyed to assess their theoretical preference of bypass graft, in comparison to their actual practice. The 750 surgeons performing myocardial revascularization who completed the questionnaire had done approximately 122,652 coronary artery bypass operations annually. Six hundred twenty-nine (84%) listed the internal mammary artery as the graft of choice for bypassing the left anterior descending coronary artery, whereas 114 (15%) listed the saphenous vein. Only about half (56%) of the surgeons actually used the internal mammary artery commonly, however, and only 228 (30%) used it in at least 90% of their operations. In actual practice, then, the internal mammary artery is often avoided in situations where it could be used as a coronary artery bypass graft. This practice can be expected to have a negative influence on late postoperative results. (The Texas Heart Institute Journal 1987; 14:139-143)
PMCID: PMC324713  PMID: 15229733
Aortocoronary bypass; myocardial revascularization; internal mammary artery implantation; saphenous vein
3.  Computational model of blood flow in the aorto-coronary bypass graft 
Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is an effective treatment modality for patients with severe coronary artery disease. The conduits used during the surgery include both the arterial and venous conduits. Long- term graft patency rate for the internal mammary arterial graft is superior, but the same is not true for the saphenous vein grafts. At 10 years, more than 50% of the vein grafts would have occluded and many of them are diseased. Why do the saphenous vein grafts fail the test of time? Many causes have been proposed for saphenous graft failure. Some are non-modifiable and the rest are modifiable. Non-modifiable causes include different histological structure of the vein compared to artery, size disparity between coronary artery and saphenous vein. However, researches are more interested in the modifiable causes, such as graft flow dynamics and wall shear stress distribution at the anastomotic sites. Formation of intimal hyperplasia at the anastomotic junction has been implicated as the root cause of long- term graft failure.
Many researchers have analyzed the complex flow patterns in the distal sapheno-coronary anastomotic region, using various simulated model in an attempt to explain the site of preferential intimal hyperplasia based on the flow disturbances and differential wall stress distribution. In this paper, the geometrical bypass models (aorto-left coronary bypass graft model and aorto-right coronary bypass graft model) are based on real-life situations. In our models, the dimensions of the aorta, saphenous vein and the coronary artery simulate the actual dimensions at surgery. Both the proximal and distal anastomoses are considered at the same time, and we also take into the consideration the cross-sectional shape change of the venous conduit from circular to elliptical. Contrary to previous works, we have carried out computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study in the entire aorta-graft-perfused artery domain. The results reported here focus on (i) the complex flow patterns both at the proximal and distal anastomotic sites, and (ii) the wall shear stress distribution, which is an important factor that contributes to graft patency.
The three-dimensional coronary bypass models of the aorto-right coronary bypass and the aorto-left coronary bypass systems are constructed using computational fluid-dynamics software (Fluent 6.0.1). To have a better understanding of the flow dynamics at specific time instants of the cardiac cycle, quasi-steady flow simulations are performed, using a finite-volume approach. The data input to the models are the physiological measurements of flow-rates at (i) the aortic entrance, (ii) the ascending aorta, (iii) the left coronary artery, and (iv) the right coronary artery.
The flow field and the wall shear stress are calculated throughout the cycle, but reported in this paper at two different instants of the cardiac cycle, one at the onset of ejection and the other during mid-diastole for both the right and left aorto-coronary bypass graft models. Plots of velocity-vector and the wall shear stress distributions are displayed in the aorto-graft-coronary arterial flow-field domain. We have shown (i) how the blocked coronary artery is being perfused in systole and diastole, (ii) the flow patterns at the two anastomotic junctions, proximal and distal anastomotic sites, and (iii) the shear stress distributions and their associations with arterial disease.
The computed results have revealed that (i) maximum perfusion of the occluded artery occurs during mid-diastole, and (ii) the maximum wall shear-stress variation is observed around the distal anastomotic region. These results can enable the clinicians to have a better understanding of vein graft disease, and hopefully we can offer a solution to alleviate or delay the occurrence of vein graft disease.
PMCID: PMC555577  PMID: 15745458
4.  Arterial grafts: clinical classification and pharmacological management 
Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery  2013;2(4):507-518.
In comparison with standard saphenous vein grafts, use of the internal mammary artery (IMA) as a coronary artery bypass graft has achieved superior long-term results. This is related to the differences in the biological characteristics between the venous and arterial grafts. However, even arterial grafts are not uniform in their biological characteristics. The variation in the perioperative behavior of the grafts and in their long-term patency may be related to different characteristics. These factors should be taken into account in the use of arterial grafts, some of which are subjected to more active pharmacological intervention during and after the operation to obtain satisfactory results. To better understand the biological behavior of the grafts, their common features and their differences, a clinical classification may be useful for a practicing surgeon. Based on experimental studies of their vasoreactivity combined with anatomical, physiological and embryological considerations, we have proposed a functional classification for arterial grafts that may be useful clinically. Our classification suggests that there are three types of arterial grafts: Type I—somatic arteries; Type II—splanchnic arteries; and Type III—limb arteries. Type I arteries have enhanced endothelial function and release more nitric oxide and other relaxing factors. Type II arteries, such as the gastro-epiploic artery, and Type III arteries, such as the radial artery (RA), have higher pharmacological reactivity to vasoconstrictors. This classification explains why the IMA has the best long-term patency. Because Type II and III arteries are prone to spasms due to higher contractility, they require more active pharmacological interventions. Furthermore, the harvesting technique of the conduits, including the saphenous vein and IMA, are described and discussed in this article. Prevention of spasms using two cocktails of medications (verapamil + nitroglycerin and nicardipine + nitroglycerin) during harvesting of the conduits is described. These solutions have been demonstrated to be clinically effective.
PMCID: PMC3741890  PMID: 23977630
Arterial grafts; classification; pharmacology; coronary artery bypass
5.  Saphenous vein graft vs. radial artery graft searching for the best second coronary artery bypass graft 
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) was first used in the late 1960s. This revolutionary procedure created hope among ischemic heart disease patients. Multiple conduits are used and the golden standard is the left internal mammary artery to the left anterior descending artery. Although all approaches were advocated by doctors, the use of saphenous vein grafts became the leading approach used by the majority of cardiac surgeons in the 1970s. The radial artery graft was introduced at the same time but was not as prevalent due to complications. It was reintroduced into clinical practice in 1989. The procedure was not well received initially but it has since shown superiority in patency as well as long-term survival after CABG. This review provides a summary of characteristics, technical features and patency rates of the radial artery graft in comparison with venous conduits. Current studies and research into radial artery grafts and saphenous vein grafts for CABG are explored. However, more studies are required to verify the various findings of the positive effects of coronary artery bypass grafting with the help of radial arteries on mortality and long-lasting patency.
PMCID: PMC3818632  PMID: 24198449
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG); Arterial grafts; Saphenous vein vs. radial artery; Radial artery graft patency; Radial artery graft spasm; RA graft long-term outcome
6.  Outcome and Graft Patency in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting with Coronary Endarterectomy 
Controversy persists regarding the use of coronary endarterectomy (CE) in patients with severe coronary artery disease. We compared the comorbidities and perioperative characteristics of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with and without CE.
This study was performed in two private hospitals in Shiraz, Iran from May 2010 to December 2011 on 967 patients who underwent CABG without CE and 84 patients who underwent CABG with CE (the CE+ group). After follow-up at 9.66±3.65 months post-surgery, 28 patients from the CE+ group underwent angiography to evaluate the patency of grafts and native coronary vessels.
Patients in the CE+ group had a more prevalent history of diabetes (48% vs. 36%) and number of diseased vessels (2.88±0.39 vs. 2.70±0.85). The overall hospital mortality was 1.8%, and no significant difference was observed between the two groups. In the 28 patients who underwent reangiography, 113 vessels were bypassed and 29 endarterectomies were performed, mostly on the left anterior descending artery (12 endarterectomies) and the right coronary artery (8 endarterectomies). In the endarterectomized vessels, a 66% patency rate was found in both the grafts and the native vessels. The native coronary vessels were more likely to be patent when the left internal mammary artery was used as a conduit than when a saphenous vein bypass graft was used.
The lack of a significant difference in postoperative complications in patients who underwent CABG with or without CE may indicate that CE does not expose patients to a higher risk of complications. Since most of the endarterectomized vessels were shown to be patent during the follow-up period, we propose that endarterectomy is a viable option for patients with severely diseased vessels.
PMCID: PMC4333844  PMID: 25705593
Coronary artery bypass surgery; Coronary endarterectomy; Comorbidity
7.  Coronary artery bypass for isolated disease of the left anterior descending artery. Late survival of 648 patients. 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  1998;25(3):181-184.
We studied a series of 648 consecutive patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting for isolated primary disease of the anterior descending coronary artery. We evaluated the patients periodically during a long-term follow-up period of up to 17 years. We studied factors such as survival, survival without acute event (i.e., acute myocardial infarction, repeat coronary artery bypass, and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty), and asymptomatic survival (i.e., survival without acute event or angina). We further analyzed these factors as they occurred in patients who received only saphenous vein grafts versus their occurrence in patients who received internal mammary artery grafts. There was 1 death in the early postoperative period (defined as 30 days or earlier after the operation). The 5-, 10-, and 15-year survival rates were 94.8%, 86.6%, and 72.2%, respectively. These survival rates are slightly better than those of an age- and sex-matched United States census population. In our series, the rates of survival, event-free survival, and asymptomatic survival were better, although not significantly so, in the group of 108 patients in whom the internal mammary artery was used as the bypass conduit. We conclude that patients who undergo coronary artery bypass grafting for isolated disease of the left anterior descending coronary artery enjoy normal survival rates, in comparison with the survival rates of an age- and sex-matched United States census population, through at least the 1st 16 postoperative years. Additionally, patients who receive an internal mammary artery bypass graft have slightly better rates of survival, event-free survival, and asymptomatic survival than do those who receive only saphenous vein grafts.
PMCID: PMC325546  PMID: 9782557
8.  Adaptive mechanisms of arterial and venous coronary bypass grafts to an increase in flow demand 
Heart  1999;82(3):336-342.
OBJECTIVE—To compare the mechanisms by which arterial and venous grafts increase their flow during pacing induced tachycardia, early and later after coronary bypass surgery.
DESIGN—43 grafts (13 epigastric artery, 15 mammary artery, 15 saphenous vein) evaluated early (9 (3) days (mean (SD)) after bypass surgery were compared with 41 other grafts (15 epigastric, 11 mammary, 15 saphenous vein) evaluated later after surgery (mean 23 months, range 6 to 168 months) by quantitative angiography and intravascular Doppler velocity analysis during atrial pacing. Controls were 17 normal coronary arteries.
RESULTS—Baseline graft flow tended to be lower later after surgery than early (41 (16) v 45 (21) ml/min, NS). Blood flow increased during pacing by 30 (16)% early after surgery, less than later after surgery (+46 (18)%, p < 0.001) and less than in normal coronary arteries (+54 (27)%, p < 0.001 v early grafts; NS v late grafts). There was no difference between venous and arterial grafts. No significant vasodilatation was observed during pacing early after surgery in arterial and venous grafts. Later after surgery, significant vasodilatation was observed only in arterial grafts (mammary and epigastric grafts), from 2.41 (0.37) to 2.53 (0.41) mm (+5.1% v basal, p < 0.001). Early after surgery and in venous grafts later after surgery, the increase in flow was entirely due to an increase in velocity. In later arterial grafts, the relative contribution of the increase in velocity to the increase in flow during pacing was lower in arterial grafts (70 (22)%) than in venous grafts (102 (11)%, p < 0.001) and similar to normal coronary arteries (68 (28)%).
CONCLUSIONS—Early and later after surgery, arterial grafts and venous grafts both increase their flow similarly during pacing. Early arterial grafts and venous grafts increase their flow only through an increase in velocity. Later after surgery, arterial grafts act as more physiological conduits and increase their flow in the same way as normal coronary arteries, through an increase in velocity and calibre mediated by the endothelium.

Keywords: coronary artery bypass graft; endothelial function
PMCID: PMC1729159  PMID: 10455085
9.  In vitro effects of L-carnitine on coronary artery bypass grafts 
The gold standard treatment for multivessel coronary revascularization is coronary artery bypass grafting. The internal mammary artery and saphenous vein grafts are the conduits most frequently used for these operations. Spasm of arterial and venous grafts is a significant problem during the operation.
To evaluate the acute in vitro effects of L-carnitine on internal mammary artery and saphenous vein grafts using a tissue bath.
Ten consecutive patients who underwent elective coronary artery bypass grafting were enrolled in the present study (nine men, one woman; mean [± SD] age 62±9.1 years). Samples from left internal mammary artery and saphenous vein grafts were collected from each patient. Submaximal smooth muscle contraction was achieved by adding 1 μM phenylephrine, and L-carnitine was then added to the solution. The concentration-response curves of the vasodilation response were obtained.
In the internal mammary graft samples, the vasodilation response to L-carnitine was 64.3±11.1% at a concentration of 5 mM. In the saphenous vein graft samples, the vasodilation response to L-carnitine was 41.5±11.4% at a concentration of 5 mM. There was a statistically significant difference (P<0.001) between the response of the internal mammary artery and saphenous vein grafts in the in vitro tissue bath system.
These results indicate that L-carnitine is a potential vasodilatory drug for internal mammary artery and saphenous vein grafts.
PMCID: PMC3718590  PMID: 23940435
Coronary artery bypass; Internal mammary artery; L-carnitine; Saphenous vein
10.  Differential Effects of Natriuretic Peptides on Arterial and Venous Coronary Artery Bypass Conduits 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2009;87(3):748-756.
Arterial grafts have patency rates superior to venous grafts in patients undergoing coronary bypass grafting surgery. Natriuretic peptides play a major role in vascular homeostasis. We hypothesized that natriuretic peptides might have different effects on arterial and venous conduits.
The relaxation responses and tissue levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) after exposure to atrial natriuretic peptide, brain natriuretic peptide, and C-type natriuretic peptide were assessed in segments of internal mammary artery, radial artery, and saphenous vein obtained from the same patients at the time of bypass surgery (n = 12). Natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR) expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry and Western blotting.
Relaxation of the internal mammary artery and radial artery to all the natriuretic peptides were similar, and greater than that of saphenous vein, correlating with increased tissue levels of cGMP in both arterial conduits. Relaxation responses to all three natriuretic peptides were nearly abolished in the presence of LY83583, an inhibitor of guanylyl cyclase. Exposure of the conduits to N(G)-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) resulted in a modest but significant blunting of the relaxation responses. Expression of NPRA, NPRB and NPRC was strong in the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle layer of the internal mammary artery and radial artery, and was significantly less in saphenous vein.
Natriuretic peptides are potent vasodilators of the internal mammary artery and radial artery but not the saphenous vein. The relaxation response is mediated through guanylyl cyclase and nitric oxide synthase. These observations may provide additional insight into the mechanisms that account for superior patency of arterial conduits.
PMCID: PMC2696162  PMID: 19231384
11.  Assessment of internal mammary artery and saphenous vein graft patency and flow reserve using transthoracic Doppler echocardiography 
Heart  2001;86(4):424-431.
OBJECTIVE—To investigate transthoracic Doppler echocardiography in the identification of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) flow for assessing graft patency.
DESIGN—The initial study group comprised 45 consecutive patients with previous CABG undergoing elective cardiac catheterisation for recurrent ischaemia. The Doppler variables best correlated with angiographic graft patency were then tested prospectively in a further 84 patients (test group).
SETTING—Three tertiary referral centres.
INTERVENTIONS—Flow velocities in grafts were recorded at rest and during hyperaemia induced by dipyridamole (0.56 mg/kg/4 min), under the guidance of transthoracic colour Doppler flow mapping. Findings on transthoracic Doppler were compared with angiography.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Feasibility of identifying open grafts by Doppler and diagnostic accuracy for Doppler detection of significant (⩾ 70%) graft stenosis.
RESULTS—In the test group the identification rate for mammary artery grafts was 100%, for saphenous vein grafts to left anterior descending coronary artery 91%, for vein grafts to right coronary artery 96%, and for vein grafts to circumflex artery 90%. Coronary flow reserve (the ratio between peak diastolic velocity under hyperaemia and at baseline) of < 1.9 (95% confidence interval 1.83 to 2.08) had 100% sensitivity, 98% specificity, 87.5% positive predictive value, and 100% negative predictive value for mammary artery graft stenosis. Coronary flow reserve of < 1.6 (95% CI 1.51 to 1.73) had 91% sensitivity, 87% specificity, 85.4% positive predictive value, and 92.3% negative predictive value for significant vein graft stenosis.
CONCLUSIONS—Transthoracic Doppler can provide non-invasive assessment of CABG patency.

Keywords: blood flow; coronary artery disease; coronary artery bypass graft; echocardiography
PMCID: PMC1729941  PMID: 11559684
12.  Radial artery for coronary artery bypass grafting: does proximal anastomosis to the aorta or left internal mammary artery achieve better patency? 
A best evidence topic in cardiac surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was ‘in coronary artery bypass grafting using radial artery grafts, does proximal anastomosis to the aorta or left internal mammary artery achieve better patency’. Altogether >183 papers were found using the reported search, of which 9 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these papers are tabulated. Radial artery grafts typically have a narrower lumen than vein grafts, and as such there is some concern that anastomosing them directly to the aorta during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) may impair graft patency. As such, some surgeons prefer to anastomose radial artery grafts to a second-order vessel such as the left internal mammary artery (LIMA). We sought to assess the evidence for this. A handful of papers directly addressing the issue of the effect of the site of proximal anastomosis on graft patency were found, with three showing no significant difference. One such study reported an insignificant difference in angiographic patency at 32 months postoperatively, with 94.1% of off-aorta grafts remaining patent vs 87.2% of off-LIMA grafts (p = 0.123). However, a large-scale well-designed study was able to demonstrate a statistically significant difference at five years postoperatively, with 74.3% of off-aorta grafts patent, compared with 65.2% of off-LIMA (p = 0.004). Nonetheless, a number of papers that report patency for either off-aorta or off-LIMA grafts give comparable figures for each technique. Additionally, different centres and investigators report very different patency results for grafts that have the same site of proximal anastomosis. One centre was able to achieve patency rates for off-LIMA grafts of 88% up to a mean of 7.7 years postoperatively while another centre reported a patency rate of only 78.6% at three years. Given this, and the plethora of other factors influencing graft patency, we conclude that the best evidence suggests that the site of proximal anastomosis has little or no effect on radial artery graft patency following CABG.
PMCID: PMC3829486  PMID: 23975715
Review; Artery; Patency; Coronary artery bypass graft
13.  Aortic distensibility and coronary artery bypass graft patency 
Aortic distensibility is an elasticity index of the aorta, and reflects aortic stiffness. Coronary artery disease has been found to be substantially associated with increased aortic stiffness. In this study we aimed to retrospectively analyze the association of angiographically determined aortic distensibility with the patency rates of coronary bypass grafts
The study was conducted in the Cardiology department of the Applied Research Centre for Health of Uludağ University. The coronary angiograms of 53 consecutive coronary bypass patients were analysed retrospectively. Aortic distensibility was calculated using the formula: 2 × (change in aortic diameter)/(diastolic aortic diameter) × (change in aortic pressure). The number of stenosed and patent bypass grafts and the patient characteristics like age, risk factors were noted.
There were 44 male (83%) and 9 female (17%) cases. Eighteen cases had only one saphenous vein grafting. The number of cases with two, three and four saphenous grafting were 18, 11 and 1; respectively. In the control angiograms the number of cases with one, two, three and four saphenous vein graft obstruction were 15 (31.3%), 7 (14.6%), 1 (2.1%) and 1 (2.1%) respectively. The aortic distensibility did not differ in cases with and without saphenous graft occlusion (p > 0.05). Also left internal mammary artery (LIMA) graft patency was not related to the distensibility of the aorta (p > 0.05). We also evaluated the data for cut-off values of 50 and 70 mmHg of pulse pressure and did not see any significant difference between the groups in terms of saphenous or LIMA grafts.
In this study we failed to show association of angiographically determined aortic distensibility with coronary bypass graft patency in consecutive 53 patients with coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).
PMCID: PMC2667388  PMID: 19323814
14.  Predictors and prevention of flow insufficiency due to limited flow demand 
We investigated the impacts of flow demand and native coronary stenosis on graft flow and patency.
We reviewed the angiograms of 549 bypass grafts in 301 patients who underwent off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting since 2007. Grafts consisted of 237 internal thoracic artery to left anterior descending artery; 97 internal thoracic artery and 52 saphenous vein grafts to left circumflex artery; and 109 gastroepiploic artery and 54 saphenous vein grafts to right coronary artery. We selected only individual bypass grafts created as the sole bypass graft to the coronary vascular region. Flow insufficiency was defined as ≤ 20 ml/min measured intraoperatively. When a significant difference in the incidence of flow insufficiency or “not functional” occurred between higher and lower values rather than the particular minimal luminal diameter value, the highest value was defined as the cut-off minimal luminal diameter. Distal lesions were defined as stenosis at segment #4, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, or 15.
Flow insufficiency was found in 112/549 (20.4%) bypass grafts. For internal thoracic artery to left circumflex artery grafts, the cut-off minimal luminal diameter for proximal and distal lesions was 1.25 mm and 0.75 mm, respectively. For gastroepiploic artery to right coronary artery grafts, the cut-off minimal luminal diameter was 0.82 mm for proximal lesions (p = 0.005), while 10 (71%) of 14 gastroepiploic artery grafts for distal lesions presented with flow insufficiency. Univariate and multivariate analysis identified a distal lesion (odds ratio (OR): 3.12, p < 0.0001); minimal luminal diameter greater than the cut-off value (OR: 3.64, p < 0.0001); right coronary artery (OR: 18.2, p = 0.0002) and left circumflex artery (OR; 2.29, p = 0.009) grafting; and a history of myocardial infarction in the grafted region (OR: 2.21, p = 0.02) as significant predictors of flow insufficiency.
Both competitive flow and insufficient flow demand cause graft failure. For distal lesions, more severe stenosis is necessary to avoid graft failure, compared with proximal lesions. A revascularization strategy for distal lesions should be discussed separately from that for proximal lesions.
PMCID: PMC4264538  PMID: 25471304
Coronary artery bypass graft; CABG arterial grafts; CABG venous grafts; Myocardial ischemia; Off-pump surgery
15.  Protocol for the Arterial Revascularisation Trial (ART). A randomised trial to compare survival following bilateral versus single internal mammary grafting in coronary revascularisation [ISRCTN46552265] 
Trials  2006;7:7.
Standard coronary artery bypass graft surgery uses a single internal mammary artery and supplemental vein or radial artery grafts. Several observational studies have suggested a survival benefit with two internal mammary artery grafts compared to a single internal mammary artery graft, but this has not been tested in a randomised trial. The Arterial Revascularisation Trial is a Medical Research Council and British Heart Foundation funded, multi-centre international trial comparing single internal mammary artery grafting versus bilateral internal mammary artery grafting.
Twenty centres in the UK, Australia, Poland and Brazil are planning to randomise 3000 coronary artery bypass graft surgery patients to single or bilateral internal mammary artery grafting. Supplemental grafts may be either saphenous vein or radial artery. Coronary artery bypass grafting can be performed as an on-pump or off-pump procedure. The primary outcome is survival at 10 years and secondary end-points include clinical events, quality of life and cost effectiveness. The effect of age, left ventricular function, diabetes, number of grafts, vein grafts and off-pump surgery are pre-specified subgroups.
The Arterial Revascularisation Trial is one of the first randomised trials to evaluate the effects on survival and other clinical outcomes of single internal mammary artery grafting versus bilateral internal mammary artery grafting, and will help to establish the best approach for patients requiring coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
PMCID: PMC1450314  PMID: 16573820
16.  Composite versus conventional coronary artery bypass grafting strategy for the anterolateral territory: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:270.
In severe coronary artery disease, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery is indicated to re-establish an adequate blood supply to the ischemic myocardium. Effectiveness of CABG surgery for symptom relief and mortality decrease should therefore depend on bypass graft patency. As bypass using a left internal mammary artery (LIMA)-to-left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) anastomosis allows the best results in terms of graft patency, we designed a new surgical technique using a saphenous vein graft as a venous bridge to distribute the LIMA flow to the cardiac anterolateral territory. This novel strategy could extend the patency benefits associated to the LIMA. Other potential benefits of this technique include easier surgical technique, possibility to use saphenous vein grafts as vein patch angioplasty, shorter saphenous vein grafts requirement and reduced or eliminated manipulations of the ascendant aorta (and associated stroke risk).
Between July 2012 and 2016, 200 patients undergoing a primary isolated CABG surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass with a LAD bypass graft and at least another target on the anterolateral territory will be randomized (1:1) according to 1) the new composite strategy and 2) the conventional strategy with a LIMA-to-LAD anastomosis and revascularization of the other anterolateral target(s) with a separated aorto-coronary saphenous vein graft. The primary objective of the trial is to assess whether the composite strategy allows non-inferior anterolateral graft patency index (proportion of non-occluded CABGs out of the total number of CABGs) compared to the conventional technique. The primary outcome is the anterolateral graft patency index, evaluated at one year by 256-slice computed tomography angiography. Ten years of clinical follow-up is planned to assess clinical outcomes including death, myocardial infarction and need for revascularization.
This non-inferiority trial has the potential to advance the adult cardiac surgery field, given the potential benefits associated with the composite grafting strategy.
Trial registration NCT01585285.
PMCID: PMC3766263  PMID: 23971858
Cardiopulmonary bypass; Composite graft; Coronary artery bypass grafting; Doppler velocimetry; Ischemic heart disease; Left internal mammary artery; Long-term follow-up; Multislice computed tomography angiography; Randomized clinical non-inferiority trial; Saphenous vein graft
17.  A Reappraisal of Saphenous Vein Grafting 
Annals of Saudi Medicine  2011;31(1):62-71.
Autologous saphenous vein grafting has been broadly used as a bypass conduit, interposition graft, and patch graft in a variety of operations in cardiac, thoracic, neurovascular, general vascular, vascular access, and urology surgeries, since they are superior to prosthetic veins. Modified saphenous vein grafts (SVG), including spiral and cylindrical grafts, and vein cuffs or patches, are employed in vascular revascularization to satisfy the large size of the receipt vessels or to obtain a better patency. A loop SVG helps flap survival in a muscle flap transfer in plastic and reconstructive surgery. For dialysis or transfusion purposes, a straight or loop arteriovenous fistula created in the forearm or the thigh with an SVG has acceptable patency. The saphenous vein has even been used as a stent cover to minimize the potential complications of standard angioplasty technique. However, the use of saphenous vein grafting is now largely diminished in treating cerebrovascular disorders, superior vena cava syndrome, and visceral revascularization due to the introduction of angioplasty and stenting techniques. The SVG remains the preferable biomaterial in coronary artery bypass, coronary ostioplasty, free flap transfer, and surgical treatment of Peyronie disease. Implications associated with saphenous vein grafting in vascular access surgery for the purpose of dialysis and chemotherapy are considerable. Vascular cuffs and patches have been developed as an important and effective means of enhancing the patency rates of the grafts by linking the synthetic material to the receipt vessel. In addition, saphenous veins can be a cell source for tissue engineering. We review the versatile roles that saphenous vein grafting has played as well as its current status in therapy.
PMCID: PMC3101728  PMID: 21245602
18.  Long term results of reoperations for recurrent angina with internal mammary artery versus saphenous vein grafts 
Heart  1998;80(1):9-13.
Objective—To evaluate the long term results of coronary reoperations for recurrent angina with internal mammary (thoracic) arteries versus vein grafts.
Design—Inception cohort of 103 patients with a mean follow up of 7.1 years (range 1.0-11.6).
Setting—Regional cardiothoracic centre.
Patients—Among 103 consecutive patients, mean (SD) age 61.8 (9.7) years, who were reoperated for recurrent angina between January 1982 and December 1991, 53 patients had unilateral or bilateral internal mammary artery (IMA) grafting supplemented or not with saphenous vein (SV) grafts (group A), and 50 patients underwent reoperative coronary surgery using SV grafts only (group B). The two groups were comparable in terms of demographic and clinicopathological data.
Measurements and results—Operative mortality was 5.6% (95% confidence interval 4.6 to 6.6) for group A, and 10% (8.2 to 11.8) for group B (p > 0.05). Probability of freedom from new recurrence of angina was 86% at 5 and 10 years in group A, compared with 56% and 25% respectively in group B (p = 0.005). Freedom from cardiac events was estimated to be 81% at 5 and 10 years in group A, v 52% and 20% for group B, respectively. Actuarial survival was 95% v 93% at 3 years, 95% v 85% at 5 years, and 88% v 71% at 10 years after reoperation (p > 0.05).
Conclusions—The long term results of IMA are superior to SV grafts in terms of freedom from new recurrence of angina and other cardiac events. The IMA is thus the conduit of choice in coronary revascularisation.

 Keywords: coronary artery bypass;  coronary reoperation;  recurrent angina;  internal thoracic (mammary) artery
PMCID: PMC1728756  PMID: 9764051
19.  Improved late survival with arterial revascularization 
Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery  2013;2(4):467-474.
New coronary artery revascularization strategies are developing: improved quantification of coronary artery disease by the SYNTAX score, new-generation drug-eluting stents and increased use of stents for multivessel disease, ongoing evaluation of stents for left main disease, new strategies for minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) including the use of robotic-assisted CABG, hybrid procedures, and off pump CABG. In comparisons of all these strategies, the impact on survival is arguably the most important parameter. It has long been accepted that using the left internal mammary artery (LIMA) to bypass the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) is the gold standard and may confer the survival advantage reported for CABG compared with percutaneous coronary intervention in the literature. The survival advantage of using additional arterial conduits as compared to the conventional use of LIMA with saphenous veins only has long been debated. Our study, which involved a large cohort of 8,622 patients with multivessel disease, followed over a long period of time, has shown that in primary isolated CABG surgery performed more than 15 years ago with the use of LIMA to the LAD, bypassing the non-LAD targets with at least 1 additional arterial graft, either the right internal mammary artery and/or the radial artery, was an independent predictor of increased survival during the following 15 years. The results were confirmed with both a propensity-matched analysis that included 1,153 patients in each group and a multivariate analysis that was able to control for all differences between the groups because of the power of the large cohort in this series. The significant survival advantage of coronary artery bypass surgery with the use of multiple arterial grafting cannot be ignored in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease as various revascularization strategies are considered.
PMCID: PMC3741895  PMID: 23977624
Internal mammary artery; radial artery; revascularization; saphenous vein grafts
20.  Arterial bypass grafting of the coronary circulation 
Surgical coronary bypass has evolved continually, and recent developments favor performing coronary grafts with all-arterial conduits in order to obtain better long-term graft patencies. With bilateral internal mammary artery grafts and both radial arteries, four excellent arterial conduits exist for revascularization of the majority of multivessel disease patients, including those with valve disorders.
Using contemporary surgical techniques, it is possible to obtain greater than 95% overall long-term graft patencies that translate into better outcomes, including improved survival, freedom from myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary intervention , and redo coronary bypass.
Two-thirds of patients receive a right internal mammary artery to the left anterior descending , a left internal mammary artery to the circumflex coronary artery system, and a radial artery to the right coronary artery Using newer management techniques, early postoperative complications, including the incidence of sternal infections, are extremely uncommon, and all-arterial grafts currently are used in over 75% of multivessel patients including those with concomitant valve disease. Because patencies and outcomes are so much better than with standard coronary bypass or percutaneous coronary intervention, referring physicians frequently favor all-arterial bypass as the primary therapy for patients with prognostically serious multivessel obstruction. Thus, all-arterial bypass could play an increasingly important role in the future treatment of severe coronary atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3563437  PMID: 23439991
coronary artery bypass; IMA grafts; coronary artery disease; graft patency; outcome analysis
21.  Scoring System for Predicting Saphenous Vein Graft Patency in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2010;37(5):525-530.
The initial and long-term benefits of coronary artery bypass grafting depend upon maintaining the coronary blood flow supplied by the graft. In order to devise a scoring system for predicting graft patency, we evaluated presumptive correlations between saphenous vein graft patency and the characteristics of saphenous veins that were used as conduits in coronary revascularization.
We prospectively evaluated 1,000 saphenous vein segments that were implanted in 403 consecutive patients who underwent on-pump coronary artery bypass grafting at our hospital from January 2006 through February 2009. Branches, varicosity, diameter, and wall thickness were evaluated, and a scoring system was created in order to obtain a value for each characteristic. The patients were postoperatively monitored for 1 year, and graft patency was then evaluated with the use of 64-slice multidetector computed tomography.
Lesions were found in 12.3% of the grafts. All of the evaluated characteristics of the grafts had a significant correlation with saphenous vein graft flow (P <0.0001). Using the venous characteristics in our statistical analysis, we devised a formula to obtain a score (range, 4–12) to predict the patency of each graft. A cutoff score of 7 yielded 87.8% sensitivity and 82.8% specificity.
Our scoring system has good prognostic value. We believe that it can assist surgeons in choosing the most appropriate conduit and target vessel for coronary artery bypass grafting, especially in high-risk patients who are particularly dependent on blood flow through saphenous vein grafts.
PMCID: PMC2953219  PMID: 20978562
Coronary artery bypass; coronary disease/physiopathology/surgery; coronary restenosis/etiology; graft occlusion, vascular/diagnosis/epidemiology/etiology/physiopathology/prevention & control; myocardial revascularization/methods; postoperative complications/pathology; prospective studies; saphenous vein/pathology/radiology/transplantation; sensitivity and specificity; treatment outcome; vascular patency/physiology
22.  Evolution of complete arterial grafting. For coronary artery disease. 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  1998;25(1):17-23.
Arterial grafting for the correction of coronary artery disease preceded the use of saphenous vein grafts, but the overwhelming popularity of the saphenous vein from 1970 to 1985 left the development of arterial grafting dormant. Excellent graft patency results from pedicled internal thoracic artery grafting and continued saphenous vein graft failure prompted our unit to explore complete arterial grafting with internal thoracic artery and radial artery grafts. One thousand and fifty-three patients who received a combination of internal thoracic artery and radial artery grafts were compared with 1,156 patients who received internal thoracic artery and saphenous vein grafts. All patients underwent primary coronary artery bypass surgery between 1995 and 1998. The early mortality and morbidity and the probability of survival at 2 years were similar in both groups of patients. Early graft patency studies of 35 radial artery grafts showed 33 (94%) were patent at a mean of 12 months. Complete arterial grafting using internal thoracic and radial arteries is safe and may provide a long-term benefit.
PMCID: PMC325496  PMID: 9566058
23.  Determinants of the length of stay in intensive care and in hospital after coronary artery surgery. 
British Heart Journal  1995;73(1):92-98.
BACKGROUND--Patients who have coronary artery surgery normally occupy intensive care beds for less than 24 hours. Longer stays may result in under use of cardiac surgical capacity. One approach to optimise surgical throughput is prospectively to identify fast track patients--that is, those who occupy an intensive care bed for less than 24 hours. A prospective audit of patients was performed to identify fast track patients by simple clinical criteria. Total length of hospital stay was also assessed in an attempt to predict which patients were likely to have a short postoperative stay, defined as < or = 7 days. METHODS--Baseline demographic details, cardiovascular risk factors, angiographic and operative details were recorded for 431 consecutive patients who underwent coronary surgery at a regional centre over a nine month period. Outcome measures were the duration of the stay in the intensive care unit in hours and total duration of the postoperative stay in hospital in days. In addition, two groups of patients who were thought to be fast track were identified prospectively. Fast track 1 patients were identified by criteria selected by cardiovascular physicians. These were age less than 60 years, stable angina, good left ventricular function (ejection fraction > 50%), good renal function (serum creatinine < 120 mumol/l), and no obesity, diabetes, or other serious disease. Fast track 2 patients were identified by criteria defined by cardiovascular surgeons. These were male sex, age less than 65 years, good left ventricular function and no peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, or other serious disease. The efficacy of both sets of criteria in predicting outcome was tested. RESULTS--344 (79.8%) patients were fast track. Significant factors for the prediction of fast track patients by univariate analysis (with positive predictive accuracy and sensitivity) were left ventricular ejection fraction > 50% (83%, 80%), left ventricular end diastolic pressure < 13 mm Hg (90%, 59%), creatinine less than 120 mumol/l (83%, 87%), and one or two vessel coronary disease (89%, 34%). Of the patients categorised as fast track 1 89% proved to be fast track (sensitivity 24%), however, the fast track 2 characteristics were not significant. Age, sex, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, a history of obstructive pulmonary disease and unstable angina were not predictive of the duration of intensive care stay. Multivariate analysis indicated that only left ventricular end diastolic pressure and the number of diseased coronary arteries predicted fast track patients. These criteria separated patients into three groups. Those who were good risk had one or two vessel disease and left ventricular end diastolic pressure < 13 mm Hg. They comprised 19% of the total and 93% of them were fast track. Those who were intermediate risk had either three vessel disease or left ventricular end diastolic pressure > 13 mm Hg but not both. They comprised 49% of the total and 85% of them were fast track. Those who were poor risk had both three vessel disease and left ventricular end diastolic pressure > 13 mm Hg. They comprised 32% of the total and 62% of them were fast track. The 106 (24%) patients who spent < or = 7 days in hospital after surgery were significantly younger (mean (SD) 55(8) v 58(8) years; P < 0.001) with a lower incidence of previous myocardial infarction (positive predictive accuracy 30%, sensitivity 53%), were less likely to have a history of obstructive pulmonary disease (25%, 98%), and more likely to have one or two vessel coronary disease (33%, 41%). They were more likely to have an internal mammary artery as a bypass conduit (27%, 89%) and more likely to need fewer than three distal anastomoses of the vein graft (29%, 63%). By multivariate analysis only age was significantly predictive of hospital stay. Total hospital stay could not be satisfactorily modelled on the basis of the criteria tested here. Sex, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, unstable angina, renal function, and left ventricular function were not associated with hospital stay. CONCLUSIONS-Most patients who had coronary artery surgery spent less than or equal to 24 hours in intensive care, but most spent > 7 days in hospital. The chance of a patient spending less than or equal to 24 hours in intensive care could be predicted by the number of coronary arteries diseased and the left ventricular end diastolic pressure. Poor risks patients (32%) had only a 62% chance of an intensive care unit stay of less than or equal to 24 hours. A policy of scheduling no more than one such patient for surgery per day would be simple to institute and would maximise the use of surgical capacity.
PMCID: PMC483764  PMID: 7888272
24.  The Short Saphenous Vein: A Viable Alternative Conduit for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts Harvested Using a Novel Technical Approach 
A multitude of vascular conduits are available to the Cardiac Surgeon performing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft operations. The Internal Mammary Artery, Radial Artery (RA), and the Long Saphenous Vein (LSV) have proven to be excellent conduits, especially in the current era of statin usage. However, previous stripping or varicosities of the LSV and calcification of the RA, coupled with the need for multiple vessel grafting, requires an alternative candidate. We describe a novel harvesting technique for bilateral simultaneous Short Saphenous Vein harvest and propose this, often forgotten vein, as a viable alternative conduit.
PMCID: PMC3461784  PMID: 23066469
Coronary artery bypass graft; coronary artery bypass graft; saphenous vein
25.  Systematic comparison of the effectiveness of radial artery and saphenous vein or right internal thoracic artery coronary bypass grafts in non-left anterior descending coronary arteries 
Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is increasingly being carried out on patients with multi-vessel coronary artery disease, but the best grafting candidate for non-left anterior descending coronary arteries is unclear. This research sought to systematically compare the efficacies and safeties of coronary bypass with radial artery and other available grafts. A systematic literature retrieval was performed for all clinical trials comparing the outcomes of coronary artery bypass surgery with radial artery and other grafts in PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. Seven eligible clinical studies, comparing radial artery and great saphenous vein grafts, were found between 1966 and 2010: one prospective non-randomized and six prospective randomized trials. The pooling analysis obtained a relative risk of 0.507 (P<0.05) of graft occlusion in radial arteries compared with great saphenous veins. There was a significantly lower infection rate in arms (i.e., harvest sites for radial arteries) relative to legs (harvest sites for veins), with a pooled relative risk of 0.140 (P<0.05). From the reports on mortality after follow-up ranging from one year to six years, there was no significant difference in mortality between the two graft types (P=0.927). In addition, four cohort controlled trials for radial and right internal thoracic artery grafts were included. The radial graft was associated with less cardiac related events relative to the right internal thoracic artery graft (P=0.014), but with comparable mortality and comparable rates of repeat percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. Subjects with radial arteries seemed to have a lower occlusion rate and a lower graft harvest site infection rate than those with great saphenous veins. Moreover there were fewer cardiac related events with radial arteries relative to the right internal thoracic artery grafts. More studies are needed to confirm these findings concerning the favorable outcomes of coronary artery bypass grafting with radial arteries on long-term patency and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3072590  PMID: 21462382
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG); Arterial grafts; Meta-analysis

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