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Bilateral internal thoracic artery graft configuration and coronary artery bypass grafting conduits

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Purpose of review

Bilateral internal thoracic arteries (BITAs) have demonstrated their superiority over all other types of graft in terms of patency and survival benefit. BITA implementation requires the surgeon's evaluation of the patient's coronary anatomy and demographics. There is no single ideal approach to BITA utilization, but instead a variety of configurations that can be implemented based on the patient characteristics.

Recent findings

This article details the advantages and disadvantages of several BITA configurations in the setting of left-sided myocardial revascularization and right-sided myocardial revascularization. Different BITA configurations will be described and will ultimately serve as a guide to avoiding technical difficulties and helping surgeons construct decision-making trees to direct the implementation of BITA grafts.Summary

BITA grafting provides long-term clinical benefit over conventional grafting. Efforts should be directed toward a more efficient use of internal thoracic arteries, reducing the need for a third complementary graft, and toward identification of the best alternative to the saphenous vein graft as the third graft material for complete revascularization. Surgeons should ask their cardiologists to be as accurate as possible regarding the severity of the coronary lesion. If the severity of the lesion is not obvious upon an informal qualitative assessment, a functional flow reserve of the lesion should be performed, in order to identify the optimal graft.
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Keywords: complete revascularization; full arterial; internal thoracic arteries

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 2: Department of Cardiac Surgery, Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, Ridgewood, NJ, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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