A major and much-needed advance for cardiac surgeons and patients requiring coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery would be the availability of an easily applied intervention that would improve long-term patency rates for saphenous vein grafts to those achieved with internal thoracic artery grafts. With newer endoscopic techniques, the saphenous vein can be harvested with minimal trauma and without compromising short-term patency rates.1,2 While saphenous vein grafts are the easiest conduits to use technically, especially for sequential grafting, the internal thoracic artery, with its excellent long-term patency (especially when used to the left anterior descending vessel), will remain the preferred primary conduit in the vast majority of cases.
Conti VR, Hunter GC. Gene Therapy and Vein Graft Patency in Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery. JAMA. 2005;294(19):2495–2497. doi:10.1001/jama.294.19.2495
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