Does coronary artery reoperation improve the survival of patients with stenoses in saphenous vein bypass grafts to coronary arteries? To examine this question, we retrospectively reviewed 1117 patients who had coronary bypass grafting and then underwent a postoperative coronary angiogram that showed a stenosis (≥20%) of at least one vein graft. Reoperation within 1 month of the postoperative angiogram was performed for 394 patients (REOP group) whereas 723 patients (MED group) received initial medical treatment (no reoperation or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty within 1 year). Compared with the MED group, patients in the REOP group were older, more symptomatic, more likely to have left main stenosis, and had fewer patent bypass grafts (all p < 0.001). In-hospital mortality for the REOP group was 4.3%. Mean postangiogram follow-up of the entire group was 73 months. On the basis of the interval between the primary operation and the postoperative angiogram, patients were designated as having early (< 5 years) or late (≥ 5 years) saphenous vein graft stenosis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify factors influencing the survival of these subgroups. Reoperation was not identified as a variable improving the survival of patients with early vein graft stenoses. For patients with late vein graft stenoses, moderate or severe impairment of left ventricular function (p < 0.0001), advanced age (p < 0.0001), triple-vessel or left main stenosis (p = 0.0011), and stenosis in a vein graft to the left anterior descending artery (p = 0.0019) decreased survival, whereas reoperation improved survival (p = 0.0007). The improvement in survival with reoperation was particularly strong for patients with a stenotic vein graft to the left anterior descending artery. For that subset, survival was 84% and 74% for the REOP group versus 76% and 53% for the MED group at 2 and 4 years after catheterization, respectively (p = 0.004). For patients with stenotic vein grafts to the right coronary artery or circumflex coronary artery (or both), survival was 92% and 87% for the REOP group versus 89% and 78% for the MED group at 2 and 4 years after catheterization, respectively (p = 0.13). Even for patients with class I or II symptoms, reoperation prolonged survival (p = 0.002 with multivariate testing). Reoperation improves the survival of patients with late vein graft stenoses, particularly those with stenotic grafts to the left anterior descending coronary artery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine