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BACKGROUND: Bilateral internal thoracic arteries confer improved survival benefit after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Despite increasing evidence, the use of arterial conduits has not been accepted as a primary practice in most of the centres in the UK for various reasons. A series of patients has been analysed to assess the feasibility of total arterial revascularisation as a primary strategy in patients requiring first time CABG. METHODS: Altogether 245 patients undergoing first time CABG by one surgeon, from June 1999 to October 2000, were studied. Group 1 consisted of 165 patients undergoing total arterial revascularisation (using bilateral internal thoracic and radial arteries) and group 2 consisted of 80 patients undergoing conventional CABG (using one internal thoracic artery and supplemental veins). Thirty day mortality and early morbidity with particular reference to resternotomy for bleeding, cerebrovascular accidents, renal failure, and sternal dehiscence were the main outcome measures. RESULTS: Patients in group 1 were younger (mean (SD) 60 (10) v 65 (9) years; p<0.001), had lower Parsonnet scores (mean (SD) 5 (5) v 11 (7); p<0.001), and better left ventricular function. Both groups received a similar number of grafts. The percentage of patients undergoing total arterial revascularisation rose from 44% in the first three months to over 75% in the three latter three month periods. Overall 30 day mortality was 1.3%, one patient (0.6%) in group 1 and two patients (2.5%) in group 2. There was a similar incidence of postoperative complications and length of median postoperative stay in both groups. CONCLUSION: Total arterial revascularisation can be adopted as a primary strategy in most patients undergoing CABG with no increase in mortality or morbidity.

Original publication




Journal article


Postgrad Med J

Publication Date





43 - 48


Aged, Coronary Artery Bypass, Feasibility Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Radial Artery, Surgical Wound Dehiscence, Survival Rate, Thoracic Arteries, Treatment Outcome