Annals of Thoracic Surgery vol:66 issue:1 pages:1-10; discussion 10-1
BACKGROUND: This study sought to determine whether extensive arterial grafting reduces the prevalence and consequences of infarct after coronary artery bypass grafting. METHODS: Post-primary coronary artery bypass grafting infarcts and time-related events thereafter were identified by 99.9% complete follow-up of 9,600 patients (1971 to 1992). The contribution of arterial grafting to freedom from infarct was assessed by multivariable hazard function analysis to adjust for other risk factors. RESULTS: Unadjusted 1-month and 10-year freedom from infarction was 97% and 86%. By multivariable analysis, arterial grafting lowered the prevalence of periprocedural (p = 0.005), intermediate term (p = 0.007 and 0.006), and late infarction (arterial grafting to the left anterior descending coronary artery, p = 0.0006). Unadjusted survival after first infarct after coronary artery bypass grafting was 74% and 52% at 1 and 10 years; arterial grafting improved 10-year survival from 48% to 59% (p = 0.002). An additional benefit or cost of extending arterial grafting (n = 1,727) beyond a single one could not be identified (p > 0.1). CONCLUSIONS: Arterial conduits, particularly to the left anterior descending coronary artery, should be used for coronary artery bypass grafting to reduce early and late myocardial infarction and its consequences. However, use of more than a single arterial graft appears to confer no additional benefit.