The internal thoracic artery (ITA) is harvested by either the pedicled or the skeletonized technique in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), with no clear advantage of one technique over the other. We compared graft flow between the pedicled and skeletonized ITA grafts while varying myocardial oxygen demand. CABG was performed to the left anterior descending artery in five anesthetized dogs using a pedicled ITA graft and the graft was subsequently skeletonized. Graft flow was measured during stepwise electrical stimulation of the stellate ganglion. The baseline graft flow before sympathetic stimulation was higher in skeletonized (27.8 ± 1.9 ml/min) than that in pedicled ITA grafts (22.6 ± 2.7 ml/min) (P < 0.05). In both ITA grafts, however, graft flow increased to a similar level during sympathetic stimulation that doubled the double product, correlating with the double product. Based on these results, we conclude that metabolic demand can override the potential difference in sympathetic vasoconstriction in both pedicled and skeletonized ITA grafts.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting
- Graft flow
- Internal thoracic artery
- Sympathetic activation
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