Should bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting be used in elderly patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting?

Benjamin Medalion, Rephael Mohr*, Osnat Frid, Gideon Uretzky, Nachum Nesher, Yosef Paz, Amir Kramer, Dmitry Pevni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Although bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting is associated with improved survival, the use of this technique in the elderly is controversial because of their increased surgical risk and shorter life expectancy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of age on outcome of patients undergoing bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting. Methods and Results: Between 1996 and 2001, 1714 consecutive patients underwent skeletonized bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting, of whom 748 were ≤65 years of age, 688 were between 65 and 75 years of age, and 278 were ≥75 years of age. Operative mortality of the 3 age groups (1.2%, 4.1%, and 5.8%, respectively) was lower than the logistic EuroSCORE predicted mortality (3.9%, 6.5%, and 9.3%, respectively; P<0.001). There were no significant differences among the groups in occurrence of sternal infection (1.3%, 2.6%, and 1.4%, respectively; P=0.171). Mean follow-up was 11.5 years. Kaplan-Meier 10-year survival for patients ≤65, 65 to 75, and >75 years of age was 85%, 65%, and 40%, respectively (P<0.001). These rates were better than the corresponding predicted Charlson Comorbidity Index survival rates (68%, 37%, and 20%, respectively; P<0.001 for all age groups), approaching survival of the sex- and age-matched general population (90%, 70%, and 41%, respectively). Age ≥65 years (hazard ratio, 0.232; 95% confidence interval, 0.188-0.288) and age 65 to 75 years (hazard ratio, 0.499; 95% confidence interval, 0.414-0.602) were independent predictors of improved survival (Cox model). Conclusions: Bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting should be considered in patients >65 years of age because of the significant survival benefit obtained with this surgical technique with no additional risk of sternal wound infection related to age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2186-2193
Number of pages8
Issue number22
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2013


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Myocardial revascularization
  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Should bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting be used in elderly patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this