Article Abstract

Bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting

Authors: Bruce W. Lytle


The effectiveness of the left internal mammary artery graft to the anterior descending coronary artery as a surgical strategy has been shown to improve the survival rate and decrease the risk of adverse cardiac events in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery. These clinical benefits appear to be related to the superior short and long-term patency rates of the internal thoracic artery graft. Although the advantages of using of both internal thoracic arteries (ITA) for bypass grafting have taken longer to prove, recent results from multiple data sets now support these findings. The major advantage of bilateral ITA grafting appears to be improved survival rate, while the disadvantages of complex ITA grafting include the increased complexity of operation, and an increased risk of wound complications. While these short-term disadvantages have been mitigated in contemporary surgical practice, they have not eliminated. Bilateral ITA grafting should be considered the procedure of choice for patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery that have a predicted survival rate of longer than ten years.