OBJECTIVES This study aimed to examine the effect of off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in patients who underwent revascularization with bilateral internal thoracic arteries (ITAs). METHODS Between January 2000 and December 2014, 499 patients underwent isolated CABG with bilateral ITAs for complete revascularization of the left coronary system at our institution. On-pump CABG was performed in 137 patients, and off-pump CABG was performed in 362 patients. We retrospectively compared the clinical outcomes and patency of the ITAs. RESULTS The off-pump group showed less respiratory failure and required a shorter postoperative stay than the on-pump group. The survival probability, freedom from cardiac events and early graft patency were similar in both groups. Five-year patency of the ITA anastomosed to the left anterior descending artery was significantly greater in the on-pump group than in the off-pump group (98.8% vs 91.2%, P = 0.010). The incidence of string change in the off-pump group was higher than that in the on-pump group (P = 0.017). There was no significant difference between the groups in the 5-year patency of the ITA anastomosed to the left circumflex artery (on-pump group: 93.8%, off-pump group: 91.8%; P = 0.46). CONCLUSIONS The early graft patency and the late patency of the ITA anastomosed to the left circumflex artery between the groups were similar, implying an equivalent quality of anastomoses. However, the patency of the ITA anastomosed to the left anterior descending artery in the off-pump group showed late deterioration, mainly because of string sign development.
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