The use of the internal mammary artery in the elderly: indications and immediate outcome

OBJECTIVE: The internal mammary artery (IMA) is the best conduit for use as a descending anterior artery bypass graft. The incidence of the IMA use in the elderly is widely variable. This study reviews the indications of the coronary artery bypass grafting with the internal mammary artery in the elderly and shows our experience with this procedure. METHODS: From July 1999 through December 2000, 163 patients underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting. Of these, 40 patients (24.53%) were 70 years or older (Group 2). The preoperative data included gender, coronary risk factors, NYHA functional class, angina class, history of previous myocardial infarction, and left ventricular function. Intraoperative information included the number of graft performed, whether the IMA was used, and incidence of surgical complications. The incidence of the postoperative complications was recorded in all patients. RESULTS: In the Group 1 all anterior interventricular branch was revascularized with IMA, and in the Group 2, 95% received the IMA graft. No significant differences were noted in the preoperative and postoperative data between the two groups. CONCLUSION: Although elderly patients requiring bypass grafting clearly are at increased risk of the surgical complications, an IMA graft does not increase the morbidity and appears to improve both early and late survival, making it a first selection graft for such a population.

Coronary disease; Myocardial revascularization; Internal mammary artery; Cardiac surgical procedures; Cardiac surgical procedures

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