Embolic protection device use and its association with procedural safety and long-term outcomes following saphenous vein graft intervention: An analysis from the British Columbia Cardiac registry

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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.


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.


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.


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.

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