Concomitant grafting of both postbifurcation internal thoracic artery branches Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective We aimed to assess the clinical outcome and graft patency after concomitant grafting of both postbifurcation internal thoracic artery (ITA) branches. Methods Between 2007 and 2013, 17 patients (14 men; mean [SD] age, 60 [9.3] years) underwent skeletonized bifurcated ITA grafting. Respective targets were restricted to non–left anterior descending (LAD) area. In all patients, a complementary standard ITA was used to graft the LAD artery. Graft patency was assessed by standard coronary angiography or serial multidetector computed tomography. Results Of the bifurcated conduits, 94% were right ITA. Respective right ITA target sets were first and second obtuse marginal arteries (M1-M2) (n = 12), ramus-M1 (n = 2), and distal right coronary artery–posterior descending artery (n = 2). Right ITAs were mobilized retroaortic (via the transverse sinus) in 14 patients (82%) (to circumflex artery targets). Circumflex artery targets comprised 88.2% of all anastomoses (30/34). There were no early mortalities, myocardial infarctions, or hypoperfusion syndromes. During median follow-up of 44 months (range, 3–63), there was no late mortality. Overall reintervention rate was 11.7%, and bifurcated ITA–related reintervention rate was 5.8%. At 5 years, freedom from major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular event related to bifurcated ITA respective territory was 87% (Kaplan-Meier). Coronary imaging was achieved in 76% of the patients (elective multidetector computed tomography, n = 9; symptoms-directed coronary catheterization, n = 4). Bifurcation branch patency rate was 88.4% (23/26) at a median of 3.5 years. Conclusions Grafting both postbifurcation ITA branches is technically feasible and may be selectively considered. Current observations are valid for skeletonized conduits and limited to non-LAD targets. These preliminary findings should be corroborated by larger data sets.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015