Isolated Bypass Grafting of the Left Internal Thoracic Artery to the Left Anterior Descending Coronary Artery: Late Consequences of Incomplete Revascularization

Document Type


Publication Date



Objective: Multiple strategies to achieve some degree of myocardial revascularization are available. In some, less complete revascularization is accepted to limit invasiveness. To examine the issues of incomplete revascularization, we assessed the long-term impact of additional non–left anterior descending coronary artery stenoses in patients undergoing only grafting of the left internal thoracic artery to the left anterior descending coronary artery. Methods: A total of 2067 patients underwent primary isolated grafting of the left internal thoracic artery to the left anterior descending coronary artery from 1971 to 1997. Of these, 26% and 13% had 2- and 3-system disease, respectively. Multivariable analyses of survival and reintervention were performed in the hazard function domain for 27,683 patient-years of follow-up (mean 14 ± 6.7). Results: Survival was 99%, 88%, and 62% at 1, 10, and 20 years. Right coronary artery or left circumflex system disease of 50% or more (P =.02) and particularly high-grade (≥70%) left circumflex (P =.01) and proximal right coronary artery disease (P =.01), as well as any degree of left main trunk stenosis (P <.0001), were associated with reduced long-term survival. Compared with 75% 20-year survival in patients with no non–left anterior descending disease, those with either left circumflex or left main trunk disease experienced a 44% survival, and those with proximal right coronary artery disease, 42%. The most common stated reason for incomplete revascularization was small vessel size. Freedom from reintervention was 89% and 65% at 10 and 20 years, respectively. High-grade left main trunk disease, but, in contrast, mid or distal disease of the right coronary artery, and not left circumflex disease, were risk factors for reintervention. Conclusions: These findings call into question the long-term appropriateness of interventions whose strategy includes leaving unrevascularized segments in territories not in the distribution of the left anterior descending coronary artery. (J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2000;120:173-84)


This paper was read at the Seventy-ninth Annual Meeting of The American Association for Thoracic Surgery, New Orleans, La, April 18-21, 1999.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users