Composite arterial grafts versus conventional grafting for coronary artery bypass grafting

J F Légaré, K J Buth, J A Sullivan, G M Hirsch
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2004, 127 (1): 160-6

OBJECTIVES: Composite arterial grafts for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery allow complete arterial revascularization but are limited by the inflow of a single internal thoracic artery supplying all the grafted vessels. We reviewed the safety of composite arterial grafts using either bilateral internal thoracic arteries or a single internal thoracic artery and radial artery.

METHODS: From January 1999 to July 2002, 402 consecutive patients receiving composite grafts only were compared to a control group of patients (n = 542) undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting with internal thoracic artery and saphenous veins operated upon by the same surgeons. Two different statistical approaches were used to compare groups in this retrospective analysis. First, propensity score analysis with greedy matching technique was used to match patients from each group. Second, a multivariate analysis was performed looking at a combined patient outcome of death, intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation utilization, myocardial infarction, stroke, and prolonged ventilation on all patients in both groups.

RESULTS: After matching by propensity score, the major clinical outcomes in composite arterial (n = 249) and control (n = 249) groups were found to be similar. The in-hospital mortality in the composite group was 1.2% as compared with 0.4% in matched patients (P =.62). However, patients in the composite group were found to have a significantly longer pump time (P <.0001), longer clamp time (P <.0001), increased incidence of prolonged mechanical ventilation (12.8% vs 4.8%; P =.002), and higher incidence of combined morbidity outcome (13.6% vs 6.4%; P =.007) as compared with matched patients. Multivariable analysis showed that composite arterial grafting was an independent predictor of the combined morbidity outcome with an odds ratio of 2.1 (1.2-3.7).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that composite arterial grafting may be associated with an increase in risk-adjusted patient morbidity when compared with a conventional coronary artery bypass grafting group, although a mortality difference was not demonstrable.

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