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Radial artery and saphenous vein patency more than 5 years after coronary artery bypass surgery: results from RAPS (Radial Artery Patency Study)


Objectives — The purpose of this study was to present radial and saphenous vein graft (SVG) occlusion results more than 5 years following coronary artery bypass surgery.

Background — In the RAPS (Radial Artery Patency Study) study, complete graft occlusion was less frequent in radial artery compared with SVG 1 year post-operatively while functional occlusion (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 0, 1, 2) was similar.

Methods — A total of 510 patients <80 years of age undergoing primary isolated nonemergent coronary artery bypass grafting with 3-vessel disease were initially enrolled in 9 Canadian centers. Target vessels for the radial artery and study SVG were the right and circumflex coronary arteries, which had >70% proximal stenosis. Within-patient randomization was performed; the radial artery was randomized to either the right or circumflex territory and the study SVG was used for the other territory. The primary endpoint was functional graft occlusion by invasive angiography at least 5 years following surgery. Complete graft occlusion by invasive angiography or computed tomography angiography was a secondary endpoint.

Results — A total of 269 patients underwent late angiography (234 invasive angiography, 35 computed tomography angiography) at a mean of 7.7 ± 1.5 years after surgery. The frequency of functional graft occlusion was lower in radial arteries compared with SVGs (28 of 234 [12.0%] vs. 46 of 234 [19.7%]; p = 0.03 by McNemar's test). The frequency of complete graft occlusion was also significantly lower in radial compared with SVGs (24 of 269 [8.9%] vs. 50 of 269 [18.6%]; p = 0.002).

Conclusions — Radial arteries are associated with reduced rates of functional and complete graft occlusion compared with SVGs more than 5 years following surgery.



Deb S, Cohen EA, Singh SK, Une D, Laupacis A, Fremes SE; RAPS Investigators. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012; 60(1):28-35. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

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