Successful coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) improves exercise-induced left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), but its potential for improving resting LV function remains controversial. To assess the influence of CABG on LV function at rest, 31 CAD patients without previous myocardial infarction were studied before and 6 months after CABG by radionuclide angiography after all cardiac medicines were withdrawn. No patient had angina or ischemic electrocardiographic changes at rest. In 27 patients with patent bypass grafts, CABG significantly increased LV ejection fraction during exercise (47 ± 11% before to 63 ± 9% after operation, p < 0.001), indicating reduction in exercise-induced LV ischemia. Moreover, LV ejection fraction at rest also increased (55 ± 9 to 60 ± 8%, p < 0.001), with 20 of 27 patients manifesting an increase compared with preoperative values. Eleven of these 20 patients had apparently normal LV function at rest (ejection fraction and regional wall motion) before CABG. LV regional ejection fraction was computed by dividing the LV region of interest into 20 sectors. Regional analysis indicated that improved ejection fraction at rest after CABG occurred in regions developing ischemia during exercise before CABG. In 4 patients with occluded grafts, the ejection fraction at rest was unchanged by CABG globally (59 ± 8 to 58 ± 9%, difference not significant) and regionally. Thus, LV global and regional function at rest improved after successful CABG, even in patients with normal global LV ejection fraction and no visually detectable wall motion abnormality before surgery. These data support the concept that many CAD patients have subclinical LV dysfunction under resting conditions due to either ischemic or hibernating myocardium, which is reversible after interventions that restore coronary flow.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine