Use of bilateral internal thoracic artery during coronary artery bypass graft surgery in Canada: The bilateral internal thoracic artery survey

Stefano Mastrobuoni, Nada Gawad, Joel Price, Vincent Chan, Marc Ruel, Thierry G. Mesana, Fraser D. Rubens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The internal thoracic artery is the gold standard conduit in coronary artery bypass grafting. Although the right and left internal thoracic arteries are excellent conduits, the use of the bilateral internal thoracic artery is not widespread. A recent report of the Society of Thoracic Surgery revealed that only a small percentage of patients receive a bilateral internal thoracic artery in North America. The aim of this study was to determine the current use of the bilateral internal thoracic artery during coronary artery bypass grafting among cardiac surgeons in Canada and identify the main concerns that limit the use of these conduits. Methods: We developed an online survey with 17 questions about the use of the bilateral internal thoracic artery in different clinical scenarios. An invitation to participate was sent to all the adult cardiac surgeons currently in practice in Canada. Results: A total of 101 surgeons (69%) of 147 currently in practice across 27 different hospitals completed the survey. Forty percent of surgeons use the bilateral internal thoracic artery only sometimes (6%-25% of cases), 37% of surgeons use the bilateral internal thoracic artery very infrequently (<5% cases), 16% of surgeons use the bilateral internal thoracic artery often (26%-50%), and only 7% of surgeons use the bilateral internal thoracic artery very often (>50%). The most common concerns in the use of the bilateral internal thoracic artery are the risk of sternal wound infection and the unknown superiority of the right internal thoracic artery over other conduits. Conclusions: The majority of Canadian cardiac surgeons consider few clinical features, such as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or morbid obesity, as contraindications to the use of bilateral internal thoracic artery. However, the reported use of the bilateral internal thoracic artery is low. A wider diffusion of this technique is warranted to improve the results of coronary surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-879
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume144
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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