Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of clopidogrel on midterm graft patency following off-pump coronary revascularization surgery.
Design: Ninety-four consecutive patients who underwent off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting between 1997 and 2002 were studied (58 men, 36 women; 61.7 +/- 9.8 years). The initial 36 patients (control group) received 75 to 160 mg acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) as an antiplatelet agent, whereas the consecutive 58 patients (clopidogrel group) received 75 mg clopidogrel postoperatively in addition to ASA. Intraoperatively, graft flow was assessed with transit-time flowmetry in all patients and the peripheral anastomoses were assessed with epicardial ultrasound in 28 patients. Sixty-two patients underwent angiography after a mean of 185 +/- 92 days. A total of 82 grafts were evaluated angiographically. Grafts with TIMI flow 2 and 3 were assessed as patent.
Results: At angiographic follow-up, the overall graft patency rate was 84% (31/37) in the control group and 93% (42/45) in the clopidogrel group (P value was not significant [ns]). Graft patency rates for left internal mammary artery (LIMA) grafts were 92% (23/25) versus 96% (28/29) (ns), and for saphenous vein grafts were 66% (7/11) versus 87% (14/16) (ns), respectively.
Conclusion: The observed trend toward higher patency rates in patients treated with clopidogrel did not reach statistical significance. Further larger studies are necessary to confirm these preliminary results.