Effect of chronic native flow competition on internal thoracic artery grafts

Ann Thorac Surg. 1994 Jan;57(1):45-50. doi: 10.1016/0003-4975(94)90363-8.


Residual competitive flow from the native coronary artery has been proposed as a mechanism that reduces flow in an internal thoracic artery graft (ITA), resulting in narrowing and ultimately failure of the graft. Results from acute experiments have indicated that competitive flow from a fully patent native artery did not abolish ITA graft flow. The present study was designed to examine the consequences of dynamic flow competition between the native vessel and the ITA graft in a chronic model. Fifteen mongrel dogs underwent coronary artery bypass grafting using the pedicled left ITA anastomosed to the normal, fully patent circumflex (CFX) coronary artery. The procedure was performed through a sterile thoracotomy, without systemic cardiopulmonary bypass, using a brief local occlusion to construct the anastomosis. Intraoperatively, ITA flow was measured in situ on the chest wall, before the pedicle was mobilized. Internal thoracic artery graft and distal CFX flow were measured after the anastomosis was completed, with and without brief occlusion of the proximal CFX. Angiography was performed 72 hours, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks later; graft patency and diameter were evaluated. After 8 weeks, open-chest direct flow measurements comparable with the intraoperative assessment were obtained. Two grafts (13%) occluded early, the technical result of poor anastomotic construction. In the 13 remaining animals, all grafts were widely patent at all time points. Internal thoracic artery flow in situ averaged 10.9 +/- 7.8 mL/min (mean +/- standard deviation), and was maintained after grafting (11.5 +/- 4.4 mL/min; p = not significant).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atrophy
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology*
  • Dogs
  • Graft Survival / physiology*
  • Myocardial Revascularization*
  • Vascular Patency / physiology*