Ann Thorac Surg 2001;72:810-815
© 2001 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
a Research Center and Department of Surgery, Montreal Heart Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
b Adventist Hospital, Washington, DC, USA
Accepted for publication May 17, 2001.
Address reprint requests to Dr Perrault, Research Center, Montreal Heart Institute, 5000 Belanger St East, Montreal, Quebec, HIT 1C8, Canada
Background. Harvesting of the internal mammary artery (IMA) for use in myocardial revascularization may result in spasm, which can impair early graft flow. Hydrostatic and mechanical dilatation can exert an intraluminal shear force, causing denudation of the IMA endothelium. A new long balloon dilatation technique (LB) has been developed to mechanically increase IMA diameter and flow without exerting any shear force on the endothelium.
Methods. Vascular rings of porcine IMA were divided into four groups: no manipulation (control), metal dilators (MD), short balloon (SB), or LB intraluminal dilation. In situ flows after dilation and percentage of intact endothelium after silver nitrate staining were determined. Endothelium-dependent contractions with arachidonic acid, relaxations with acetylcholine, endothelium-independent contractions with norepinephrine, and relaxation with sodium nitroprusside were recorded in organ chamber experiments.
Results. Increases in IMA flows were similar in all dilated groups. Endothelium-independent contractions and relaxations of IMA smooth muscle were unaffected by any type of mechanical dilation. However, endothelium-dependent contractions and relaxations were significantly impaired after MD and SB but preserved after LB dilation compared with control. Silver nitrate staining showed a greater preservation of the endothelial coverage after LB dilation.
Conclusions. IMA dilatation with the novel arterial LB catheter increases IMA flow and preserves endothelial cell integrity, making it an effective and atraumatic method to relieve IMA spasm before use for coronary artery bypass grafting.
Ann. Thorac. Surg. 2001 72: 816.
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