Measures to Increase Use of Multiple Arterial Grafts for Isolated Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

J Am Coll Surg. 2021 Jun;232(6):954-961. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2021.02.008. Epub 2021 Feb 24.


Background: Use of multiple arterial grafts (MAGs) provides superior patency and long-term survival benefit compared with venous grafts during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). However, MAGs are used infrequently for CABG. We hypothesized that specific measures introduced at our institution would lead to an increase in the use of MAGs.

Study design: Use of MAGs before and after introduction of bundled measures was compared. Measures included increased education in arterial graft harvesting, inclusion as a quality metric, and hiring of surgeon champions. Patients younger than 70 years who underwent first time, isolated CABG using at least 1 arterial graft were included. Number and type of grafts used were compared between time periods using chi-square test. Secondary outcomes included postoperative complications. Complications were compared between time periods, as well as between MAG and non-MAG recipients before and after propensity score matching using Fisher exact test and univariate logistic regression. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine patient characteristics associated with MAG use.

Results: There were 2,169 patients included from 2012 to 2019. MAG use increased significantly after introduction of measures (21.1% to 41.9%; p < 0.001). Radial artery use with an internal mammary artery (0.3% to 16%; p < 0.001) and the use of triple arterial grafts increased significantly (0% to 2.4%; p < 0.001). MAG use in the entire cohort was associated with decreased 30-day mortality and postoperative cardiac arrest that was not significant after propensity matching.

Conclusions: A programmatic emphasis on the use of MAGs for CABG is an effective method to increase its use.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / statistics & numerical data
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammary Arteries / transplantation
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Propensity Score
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration*
  • Quality Improvement / statistics & numerical data
  • Radial Artery / transplantation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgeons / education
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / education
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency