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Recent evidence shows that multi-arterial coronary artery bypass grafting (MABG) based on bilateral internal thoracic (BITA) or left internal thoracic (LITA) and radial artery (RA) improves long-term outcomes compared with single arterial coronary artery bypass grafting (SABG) (LITA + saphenous vein graft). How this evidence affected the worldwide use of MABG, if at all, is not well defined. Accordingly, we report 10-year temporal trends of MABG utilization from 2 continents. A study population of 1,683,434 non-emergent, primary, isolated LITA-based coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) (≥2 grafts) patients was derived from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) (1,307,528 (79.5%) of 1,644,388 isolated CABG; total 1179 centers) and the Australia New Zealand Cardiothoracic (ANZ) Databases (34,213 (87%) of 39,046 isolated CABG; 24 centers) between 2004 and 2014. Patients were excluded based on the following: (1) no LITA, (2) if arterial grafts were other than RA or ITA, or (3) if grafting data were missing. The 3 MABG groups were LITA + RA, BITA, and BITA + RA, each with or without supplemental vein grafts. Grafting trends and their associated patient demographics were analyzed. SABG (89.3% STS, 51.4% ANZ) was the most common grafting strategy. MABG was most frequently accomplished by LITA + RA: (STS: 6.1%; ANZ: 42.6%), followed by BITA: (STS: 4.1%; ANZ: 4.3%), while ≥3 (BITA + RA) was rare in the STS (0.5%), but more common in ANZ (5.9%). In the STS, between 2004 and 2014, SABG rates systematically increased from 85.2% to 91.7%, BITA grafting was essentially unchanged from 3.6% to 4.3%, while RA use decreased systematically from 10.5% to 3.7%. In the ANZ, SABG rates increased from 17.3% to 51.4%, BITA grafting decreased from 6.3% to 3.6%, while RA grafting decreased from 65.8% to 39.0%. Compared with SABG patients, BITA patients were younger (STS: median age 59 vs 66, P < 0.001; ANZ: mean age 62 vs 68, P < 0.001), predominately male (STS: 84% vs 73%, P < 0.001; ANZ: 86% vs 79%, P < 0.001), less obese (body mass index >30 kg/m2) in STS (37% vs 42%, P < 0.001), more obese in ANZ (33% vs 32%, P = 0.001), and less diabetic (STS: 26% vs 43%, P < 0.001; ANZ: 25% vs 37%, P < 0.001), whereas RA patients were intermediate in age (STS: 61; ANZ: 65), in male sex (STS: 82%; ANZ: 81%), in the prevalence of diabetes (STS: 40%; ANZ: 34%), and were most obese (STS: 47%; ANZ: 34%). A decade-long analysis of STS data reveals a counterintuitive decline in the use (driven by decreasing RA use) of MABG: a potentially superior grafting strategy compared with SABG. In contra distinction, the smaller but growing ANZ data document a distinctly different CABG practice pattern, with a higher MABG utilization rate, but a similarly declining RA use. The reasons for these practice patterns and declining MABG are likely diverse and require further assessment.

Original publication




Journal article


Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg

Publication Date





273 - 280


CABG, multi arterial CABG, single arterial CABG, Aged, Australia, Comorbidity, Coronary Artery Bypass, Coronary Artery Disease, Databases, Factual, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, New Zealand, Practice Patterns, Physicians', Process Assessment, Health Care, Risk Factors, Surgeons, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, United States