Complete myocardial revascularization using only bilateral internal thoracic arteries provides a low-risk and durable 10-year clinical outcome

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Oct;50(4):735-741. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezw120. Epub 2016 Apr 15.


Objectives: Bilateral internal thoracic artery (BITA) bypass provides long-term survival benefits over strategies that use single internal mammary arteries during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). However, the rate of adoption of this strategy remains very low. Moreover, optimal BITA configuration and the use of cardiopulmonary bypass still remain a matter of debate. We investigated the long-term results of a coronary revascularization strategy, utilising exclusively BITA-Y composite grafts using off-pump platform and sequential anastomoses.

Methods: From March 2000 to November 2010, all isolated CABGs (n = 2057 patients) were performed using an off-pump platform. Of these, 1240 patients had three-vessel coronary disease (60.3%), with severe coronary disease defined as >70% stenosis and three-vessel disease defined as the presence of 3 vessels with >70% stenosis, of which 784 (63.2%) were treated with two internal thoracic artery grafts in a composite fashion with a no-touch technique avoiding any manipulation of the ascending aorta. The primary end-point was the long-term survival and freedom from major adverse cerebral and cardiovascular events (MACCEs). The follow-up was completed using the annual anniversary method.

Results: The mean number of anastomoses per patient was 4.0. Hospital mortality occurred in 8 patients (1%). Ninety-day stroke, myocardial infarction and repeat revascularization rates were respectively 0.7, 0.6 and 0.3%. The mean follow-up was 6.6 ± 3.2 years and was obtained for 99% of the patients. The 5- and 10-year survival rates were 93.1 ± 1.6 and 83.8 ± 3.2%, respectively. Freedom from major adverse cardiac and cardiovascular event (MACCE) at 5 and 10 years was: cardiovascular event: 98.7 ± 1.6 and 96.1 ± 1.7%, documented ischaemia: 90.5 ± 2 and 80.2 ± 3.8%, revascularization: 94.0 ± 1.5 and 89.7 ± 2.5%, infarction: 98.1 ± 0.8 and 96.0 ± 1.6%. The patency of left and right internal thoracic artery in a BITA-Y configuration was 91.1 and 88.8% at 5 ± 3 years, respectively.

Conclusion: Performance of an exclusive composite BITA off-pump revascularization strategy optimal and sustained long-term protection from MACCE.

Keywords: Arterial revascularization; Bilateral internal thoracic artery; Coronary artery bypass grafting; Y-graft.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammary Arteries / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome