Lessons learned from Radial Artery Database International ALliance (RADIAL)
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery was first performed in the 1960s. As the surgery has evolved, there has been a growing interest in the use of multiple arterial grafts in CABG. Since the re-introduction of the radial artery (RA) to clinical use as a bypass conduit in the 1990s, there have been several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) which have compared saphenous vein graft (SVG) conduits to RA use in CABG. While most trials have shown improved patency of the RA, none of them have been able to demonstrate a survival benefit using the arterial conduit. In this review, we examine the existing RCTs on the subject. We then look at our solution to the decades-old inquiry regarding the RA compared with the SVG. The Radial Artery Database International ALliance (RADIAL) project is an individual patient-level meta-analysis developed to adequately power a study to assess if the RA has superior clinical outcomes compared with the SVG. We describe the process by which this investigation was conducted and the collaboration necessary to achieve success.