Objectives: To investigate the long-term clinical outcome, averaging 8.5 years, of two saphenous vein harvesting techniques for CABG; no touch (NT) versus conventional (C).
Design: In a randomized study, 49/52 in group NT and 44/52 in group conventional were evaluated for reangina, myocardial infarction, new revascularization, functional class, risk factors and medical treatment. The vein grafts and the native coronary arteries were correlated to the occurrence of reangina.
Results: There were significantly more patients free from angina and in NYHA class I (67.3 versus 43.2%; p =0.02) in group NT compared to group C. No cardiac death was found in group NT versus three in group C. There were trends towards fewer patients with cardiac death or myocardial infarction (3.8 vs. 13.4%; p =0.16), more patients free from angina (75.5 vs. 63.6%; p =0.26) and fewer patients with graft occlusion (24.3 vs. 43.2% (p =0.14) in group NT.
Conclusions: The results of the NT-technique are encouraging with no cardiac deaths, significantly more asymptomatic patients and a trend towards impact on hard clinical endpoints compared to the conventional technique.