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Observational and randomized evidence shows that arterial grafts have better patency rates than saphenous vein grafts (SVGs) in coronary artery bypass grafting. Observational studies suggest that the use of multiple arterial grafts is associated with longer postoperative survival, but this must be interpreted in the context of treatment allocation bias and hidden confounders intrinsic to the study designs. Recently, a pooled analysis of 6 randomized trials comparing the radial artery with the SVG as the second conduit and the largest randomized trial comparing the use of single and bilateral internal thoracic arteries have provided apparently divergent results about a clinical benefit with the use of >1 arterial conduit. However, both analyses have methodological limitations that may have influenced their results. At present, it is unclear whether the well-documented increased patency rate of arterial grafts translates into clinical benefits in the majority of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. A large randomized trial testing the arterial grafts hypothesis (ROMA [Randomized Comparison of the Clinical Outcome of Single Versus Multiple Arterial Grafts]) is underway and will report the results in a few years.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1273 - 1284


arteries, coronary artery bypass, myocardial revascularization, Coronary Artery Bypass, Humans, Observational Studies as Topic, Radial Artery, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Saphenous Vein, Survival Rate, Time Factors, Transplants