Long-term arm morbidity after radial artery harvesing for coronary bypass operation

Yanai Ben Gal, Leonid Sternik, Amihay Shinfeld, Chaim Locker, Dimitry Pevni, Nachum Nesher, Yigal Kassif, Aram K. Smolinsky, Jacob Lavee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The use of the radial artery (RA) in coronary bypass operations has become increasingly popular in recent years, but there is almost no documentation regarding the midterm and long-term arm complications. Methods: Between January 1 and December 31, 1998, 109 patients underwent operations for myocardial revascularization employing a pedicled RA as 1 of the coronary grafts. The patients were surveyed for subjective arm morbidities at 2 times during their follow-up: short term (mean, 7 months postoperatively; range, 0.3-14 months) and long term (mean, 49 months postoperatively; range, 46-57 months). Results: At the short-term follow-up, 33 (33.3%) of the patients had some complaints regarding the arm that was operated on, with 4 (4%) of the patients reporting arm disability with complaints that focused on pain (11, 11%), numbness (15, 15%), and parasthesias (12, 12%). At the long-term follow-up, only 9 patients (10.5%) still experienced some sort of inconvenience with the arm that was operated on, with 1 case of functional disability, 4 complaints (4.6%) of residual parasthesias, and 1 report (2.3%) each of pain or numbness. All but 2 of the patients with complaints at the short-term follow-up reported amelioration of symptoms at the long-term follow-up. Conclusion: It appears that severe arm disability early after RA harvesting is likely to dissolve with time. Our favorable late follow-up results support the continuation of the employment of the RA as a conduit for coronary artery bypass grafting operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-179
Number of pages3
JournalHeart Surgery Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

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