Complete revascularization with internal thoracic artery grafts

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1996 Jan;8(1):29-41.


Saphenous vein graft atherosclerosis continues to be the major cause of late failures of coronary artery bypass operations (CABG). The internal thoracic artery (ITA) is an ideal bypass graft because it remains free of atherosclerosis at late follow-up in most patients. Myocardial revascularization with only ITA grafts has developed in an incremental manner from single grafts of the left ITA to the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD), to use of bilateral, free and sequential ITAs, and now recently to the use of preconstructed grafts that attach the free right ITA to the left ITA. The microanatomy and vascular reactivity of the ITA have been recently defined, and they explain why the ITA remains free of obstruction. Our techniques and results of ITA grafting developed over the past 25 years are presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical / methods
  • Arteries / transplantation*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Disease / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Revascularization / methods*
  • Thoracic Arteries / transplantation
  • Treatment Outcome