Embolic protection devices (EPDs) have been designed and introduced to reduce distal embolization and peri-procedural myocardial infarction during saphenous vein graft (SVG) intervention. Current guidelines give a class I recommendation to EPD use during SVG intervention when technically feasible. However, the routine use of these devices has recently been debated.Methods:
We analyzed 1,359 patients undergoing isolated SVG intervention between 2008 and 2013 in the British Columbia Cardiac Registry. We analyzed (a) post-procedural TIMI flow; and (b) target vessel revascularization (TVR) and mortality at 1 and 2 years.Results:
EPD use was an independent predictor of post-procedural TIMI 2/3 flow (OR = 2.38, 95% CI: 1.51–3.74,P < 0.001). At 1 year, EPD use was an independent predictor for lower TVR (HR = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.14–0.85,P = 0.021) and a trend towards lower mortality (HR = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.18–1.10,P = 0.082). These associations were lost at 2 years where EPD use was not predictive of mortality (HR = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.33–1.17,P = 0.144) or TVR (HR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.41–1.17,P = 0.176). These findings were confirmed in propensity-matched and inverse probability treatment weighted analyses.Conclusions:
In this analysis of patients undergoing SVG intervention, EPD use was a strong predictor for improved post-procedural TIMI flow. Whilst EPD use was associated with lower TVR and a trend for lower mortality at 1 year, these associations were lost at 2 years. These findings would appear to support the use of EPD for SVG intervention.