Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: In a post hoc analysis of the VEST III trial, we investigated the effect of the harvesting technique on saphenous vein graft (SVG) patency and disease progression after coronary artery bypass grafting. METHODS: Angiographic outcomes were assessed in 183 patients undergoing open (126 patients, 252 SVG) or endoscopic harvesting (57 patients, 114 SVG). Overall SVG patency was assessed by computed tomography angiography at 6 months and by coronary angiography at 2 years. Fitzgibbon patency (FP I, II and III) and intimal hyperplasia (IH) in a patient subset were assessed by coronary angiography and intravascular ultrasound, respectively, at 2 years. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics were similar between patients who underwent open and those who underwent endoscopic harvesting. Open compared with endoscopic harvesting was associated with higher overall SVG patency rates at 6 months (92.9% vs 80.4%, P = 0.04) and 2 years (90.8% vs 73.9%, P = 0.01), improved FP I, II and III rates (65.2% vs 49.2%; 25.3% vs 45.9%, and 9.5% vs 4.9%, respectively; odds ratio 2.81, P = 0.09) and reduced IH area (-31.8%; P = 0.04) and thickness (-28.9%; P = 0.04). External stenting was associated with improved FP I, II and III rates (odds ratio 2.84, P = 0.01), reduced IH area (-19.5%; P < 0.001) and thickness (-25.0%; P < 0.001) in the open-harvest group and reduced IH area (-12.7%; P = 0.01) and thickness (-9.5%; P = 0.21) in the endoscopic-harvest group. CONCLUSIONS: A post-hoc analysis of the VEST III trial showed that open harvesting is associated with improved overall SVG patency and reduced IH. External stenting reduces SVG disease progression, particularly with open harvesting.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cardiothorac Surg

Publication Date



Coronary artery bypass grafting, Endoscopic vein harvesting, External stent, Saphenous vein graft, Vein graft disease